The Week in Instagrams @nanawintour: *I went to the Mac Spring-Summer '14 trends presentation on Tuesday. It was all kinds of awesome-see tomorrow's post! *My hair is so big because it's full of secrets, and Bumble and Bumble. *Saturday Shenanigans; The Benefit Lollitint Launch and Saving Mr Banks. Getting to meet Annie Ford Danielson, daughter of the Benefit founders and Shannon was quite the highlight. January Favourites for another year. *Wholemeal pancakes with organic blueberries for breakfast yesterday. So good. *Talking skin and eye primers in Monday's post.
Must-Watch of the Week: The Hollywood Reporter's Actresses Roundtable for 2013 stands out this week. Amy Adams, Emma Thompson and more of the top nominees from this awards season are featured. They discuss topics like the role of Women in film and its progression over the years and how to leave a character behind off-set. It's almost an hour-long but it's really interesting hearing everyone's differing perspectives and what inspires everyone.
Product of the Week: Eyeko 'Eye Do' Mascara, from this set. Mascara is one of those things I often alternate because there are so many different mascaras out there. I am often determined to find my favourite mascara, I think Mac False Lash is my most repurchased, but I still enjoy trying out different ones. Anyway, this mascara comes with a corkscrew shaped wand. It's really easy to coat each individual lash, even those pesky inner-corner ones. It also holds a curl really well and despite not being a waterproof mascara, I've noticed it is pretty long-wearing.
It's January favourites time again! Crazy. This month I have been loving a range of products. There's a surprisingly small number of makeup pieces in this post which can largely be put down to the fact I get quite lazy with makeup in Summer. I tend to just slap on what I know, love, and use religiously #fail. Never fear, I have been trialling more American beauty products this month and came into possession of some Mac fashion week favourites yesterday. No doubt you'll be spying those on the blog sometime soon.
Anyway, without further ado, here is what I have been loving and obsessing over this month..
Real Techniques Buffing and Multi Task Brushes-Ever since these brushes came into my possession I have been obsessed with them. The buffing brush is fantastic for foundation. It blends product in so seamlessly and is my favourite brush for creating a flawless finish. The multi task brush has been my go-to for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. It is very similar in design to the powder brush, also by Real Techniques, just smaller. It is the perfect size for powders like these ones and because of its density, it doesn't pick up too much product.
The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Body Butter, limited edition-Body butters are a great product to be using year round. Whether your skin is noticeably dry or not, an extra dose of moisture and nourishment can make all the difference. I've been alternating between this body butter and the Strawberry one this month. Unlike other body butters these aren't too thick. They sink into the skin really well and don't leave your skin feeling greasy. They also happen to smell divine as well. Wins all round.
Lush Angels On Bare Skin Cleanser*-This cleanser was in our goodie bags at a Lush blogger's event last month and I am so glad it was because my other cleanser just wasn't agreeing with my skin. With this cleanser you take a small amount and let it become an almost milky, paste-like consistency under running water. This cleanser works so well at removing any grime from your skin. It's very gentle as well so you aren't left with your skin feeling tight or irritated. This does have quite an unpleasant scent to it but because it works for me I'm willing to overlook that factor.
Bumble and Bumble Surf Creme Rinse Conditioner-I love the whole beachy, wavy, Alexa Chung-Esque hair, especially if it can be achieved at home and not through salt water. This conditioner is super creamy and after blow-waving my hair it has a nice wave to it. This can be a little drying on the ends of your hair so I use a hair oil on the ends once a week to combat that. I've also been loving the Surf Spray from Bumble and Bumble but more on that another day.
It has been said that it is a crime to not prime. It may not be officially listed as an illegal activity but once you start using a primer of any kind, you won't want to go without it. A primer's key purpose is to make your makeup, whether it be base or eye, stay in place for longer. They can also be skin smoothing, add a touch of radiance or even minimise pores. Primers can change the way your makeup looks and lasts on the skin so they're an essential part of many a makeup routine..
Bourjois Bronzing Primer ASOS seem to have taken this primer off their site so I'm hoping it gets added back because I love this. This primer was labeled as an alternative to the popular Chanel cream bronzer. I know some people like to use this as a cream contour as well. While it is way too dark for me to contour or bronze with, I like to apply a small amount of this after using a regular face primer. It gives your complexion a bit more warmth without leaving you looking orange. I have used this as a primer as well and liked it as one.
Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base This is the best eyeshadow primer that I have tried. It has a wand applicator so you can apply this to your lids and then use your ring finger to gently pat it in. Apply eyeshadow as normal and it will stay put so much better. The primer really stops your eyeshadow from creasing. For extra longevity apply a cream base, like a Mac paint pot first.
Laura Mercier Radiance Primer If you're not so big on dewy finishes, a primer like this one can be the perfect way to make you look more awake. I typically prefer a more matte finish but applying this leaves your complexion with such a pretty natural glow. I've not tried any of Laura Mercier's other primers but this one has more of a cream, almost gel-like consistency. It's really easy to blend and again, your makeup will stay put with this underneath.
The Week in Pictures @nanawintour: *My Mac Lipstick Collection. It seems I have a liking for Mac's red and pink lip colours. *Breakfast on Wednesday morning complete with my latest read. *Some of the gorgeous new products Bobbi Brown have coming out over the next few months. Those blushers pictured are stunning. *Channeling my inner Disney-lover and watching Enchanted on Sunday night. *Talking hair products after a trip to Mecca Cosmetica. *It's always a good day when Cadbury's Mini Eggs make a reappearance on the shelves.
Must-Watch of the Week: I don't talk about it on the blog very often but I love baking, especially for other people. This week Zoe and Tanya both uploaded joint baking videos to their channel. This one for Raspberry and Nutella Macarons was my favourite but they also did one for a Lemon Drizzle Cake. Delicious, and the perfect accompaniment for afternoon tea.
Product of the Week: Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer. Is it possible I have found an eyeshadow primer I like more than the Nars one? Time will tell. This one has been gracing my lids this week and I am really liking it so far. It is skin toned so it acts as a great base for eyeshadows. This primer is also really creamy so it is easy to blend and apply across the lids.
Must Read of the Week: The Coveteur is the perfect blog to visit for interior inspiration and to see inside the homes of famous women in fashion and beauty. This week they went inside Kourtney Kardashian's newly renovated house. She has the most covetable collection of shoes and coffee table books, ever! I love the chalkboard walls in her kid's playroom as well. If you're a blogger, this post of 20 things we can learn from Kat (of the Blogcademy) is well worth the read also.
Added to the Wishlist: Jo Malone Sweet Almond and Macaroon Candle. I have not actually smelt this candle but cast your eyes back to its name. How delectable does that sound? Who knows, maybe it'd be like stepping back into Laduree in Paris. Maybe..
Pictured: Patisserie, Relentlessly Red, Impassioned, Scarlet Ibis, Rebel, Lickable, Lady Danger, Creme Cup and Show Orchid.
In case this photo does not give it away, I love Mac lipsticks. They have the most extensive array of colours and formulas, trying to choose one is like trying to pick lollies in a well-stocked sweet store. This is my small but well loved collection. Whenever I purchase a Mac lipstick I like to research first. Looking at blogs or YouTube tutorials with the lipsticks beforehand is great. I also highly recommend going in and swatching colours yourself. The Mac artists in store will also apply the lipsticks on you or sterilise them so you can try them on yourself. You're bound to find a colour or three that you love that way.
Scarlet Ibis-This is a limited-edition lipstick that was released as part of the Marilyn Monroe collection a few years back. It is one of those colours that often is repromoted in other collections so it is bound to reappear on the shelves soon. Scarlet Ibis is a red-orange. It is vibrant and the red tones make this a classic, statement lipstick. For a matte-finish this one applies really creamily and has a bit of a sheen to it. Mac's matte lipsticks have fantastic lasting power. They tend to not feel drying on my lips for a good five or six hours.
Relentlessly Red-This shade was from the Retro Matte collection last year. It seems to have initially been limited edition but it is now part of Mac's permanent line. Anyway, Relentlessly Red is described as a bright pinkish coral. Again for a matte this applies very creamily and lasts well. I like to layer this over the top to add a glossier finish.
Lady Danger-If Lady Danger were a person she would be the life of the party. This bright coral-red shade is definitely my party lipstick. I throw it on if I have somewhere important to go or just if I am feeling fancy. This shade seems to make your teeth look whiter as well which is always a bonus. Lady Danger seems to be one of those shades that complements a range of skintones. If you're after a statement red this is well worth a swatch and splurge session.
Lickable-As their name would suggest, cremesheen lipsticks are incredibly creamy. These last for less time on the lips as a result but I find they're still good after four to five hours, especially if you wear a lip pencil underneath. This blue-pink is bright, but not as intimidating as a neon lip colour. It is a really wearable shade and is very flattering, especially if you have a fairer complexion.
Creme Cup-My go-to lipstick when I don't want to wear a nude or a bright. This could be classified as a nude lipstick but it has a hint of pink. Most lip colours like this tend to wash me out as my skintone errs towards the paler side of things, thankfully this one does not. Again, this is a really wearable colour. If bright lipstick is not for you then you should give this a swatch.
When two of my favourite things, Makeup and Alexa Chung join forces you can guarantee that I am bound to be excited, like a child on Christmas morning. Over Christmas Beauty Bay had this on sale and it just happened to fall into my cart. Happy late Christmas to me. Before I get started on the review I have to mention that this kit was so beautifully packaged and presented. Once opened, a layer of eye-covered tissue paper appeared. Inside were the products of course, but there is also a poster and a guitar pick adorned with Alexa's writing and illustrations. This set is limited edition so if you're after one then get online or in store today to snag yourself this beauty (#seewhatididthere).
Eye Do Mascara I've been using this mascara religiously the past week and love it. The wand is the perfect size and shape for coating each individual lash. Alexa is right when she says this mascara stays on forever. While it is not waterproof, it does not smudge and is easily removed with a decent eye makeup remover. I also love that it contains a lot of natural ingredients to condition and promote natural lash growth. This may well be my new favourite luxe mascara.
Last week I took a trip to Mecca Cosmetica. There's nothing particularly unusual about that. What was most unusual about this visit was I dashed right past Nars, sidestepped Diptyque and headed straight for the Bumble and Bumble shelves. One thing I want to feature on the blog more this year is haircare and skincare. I also happened to need a new conditioner. You know the drill..
Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dry Spun Finish This is showing up as unavailable online so it may have sold out again. I was not expecting to see this on the Mecca shelves given it has been MIA for a few months now. This is similar to the well-loved Oribe texturising spray which we can't get in New Zealand. My hair is quite thick but once I straighten it, which is most days, it tends to lose its volume. Spritzing this through the roots and then shaping the hair with my hands gives it more body and bounce. It earns bonus points for not having the toxic scent some hairsprays have and not leaving my hair feeling crispy.
Bumble and Bumble Surf Creme Rinse Conditioner It may just be because it's Summer but I am obsessed with hair products that revolve around the beach hair concept. More on that soon. This lightweight creme conditioner is designed to leave hair feeling airy and soft with body, texture and enhanced natural wave. I have only used this once and noticed my hair had the faux 'beach swim' thing happening, with less salt obviously. This can leave the ends of your hair feeling a bit dry but it's nothing a bit of this can't fix.
*Have you tried any Bumble and Bumble products? I'd love to know your thoughts! I hope everyone's having a fabulous weekend so far. Mine's been quite chilled admittedly but that's perfect after the week that was. xo
The Week in Instagrams @nanawintour: *Visiting the Bumble & Bumble shelves in Mecca Cosmetica. *Blogging Tips and Tricks. *Burning Winter candles in Summer. *The Eyeko for Alexa Chung goodness arrived! Review coming Tuesday. *I started watching the final season of Gossip Girl on the weekend. So far I have only watched one episode because I don't want it to be finished. *Snapshots of Monday and Tuesday's blog posts.
Must Watch of the Week: This week there are multiple videos that I've enjoyed watching. First up, Anna and Lily's series on all things blog and vlog related. Whether you've just started your blog or looking for some handy hints from the duo who know their stuff, these videos are well worth the watch. Tara and Ellen of Shop Style Conquer have also started a new series over on their YouTube channel. Tara is teaching Ellen how to sew. Who knows, it may even inspire you to create something to wear as well. These girls make such cute videos and have incredible style so be sure to check out their blog as well.
Product of the Week: Jo Malone Lime, Basil and Mandarin Cologne. I've not been wearing a lot of perfume recently but over the last couple of weeks this is the one that I constantly find myself reaching for. This scent is not particularly overpowering which I like. The 30ml bottles are so lightweight as well so they're not a nuisance to cart around everywhere.
Must Read of the Week: Tavi interviewed Lorde over on Rookie and it was all kinds of amazing. I've been a fan of Tavi's for years and she does the best interviews. It probably helps that she interviews people like Emma Watson, Elle Fanning and Sofia Coppola. Anyways you should read it, just because.
Added to the Wishlist: By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon. This is quite possibly the most expensive eye crayon on the market, in New Zealand at least. The shade itself is a stunning bronze taupe with very subtle shimmer throughout. What is amazing about these crayons though is the lasting power. I swatched this on my hand today and it would only come off with a heavy duty eye makeup remover. Impressive stuff. Here's hoping one of the drugstore brands release something similar soon.
For a while I've been wanting to do some posts on all things blogging and January seems like an ideal time to get started. I love blogging and in the two years that I have been posting I have watched my blog change and develop more than I could ever imagine. These tips and tricks are all things I wish I had known when my first posts were penned. If you're new to blogging or just looking for some advice, I hope this post is useful for you.
Write for you-We all have passions and interests, whether it be makeup, fashion, food or something completely different. Write about what you love and what you would like to read. There's no point trying to write about something you don't really like as it will show through your writing.
The tools you need-All you really need is a camera, computer and notebooks for organisation and post planning. You really don't need a fancy camera for blogging. It certainly does help, but I know some bloggers who use good quality point and shoots or even their iPhone cameras for posts. If you're not much of a writing person then download Wunderlist to your phone for tracking posts and use the notepad to write ideas out.
Images and Editing-Keep your images as large as possible to fit within your post template. When I first started my blog I really just got lazy with the sizing of photos because I didn't really know how to do it. Looking back on those posts make me cringe now. Again, Photoshop is not an essential tool, especially if you light your images well. Keep your image editing simple. Adjust the brightness and contrast to make your images sharper and crop or resize as necessary. For more on how I edit my photos head to this post.
So it's not quite monthly favourites time yet but over the last month there's been a few non-beauty things that I have been loving lately and they all deserve a mention.
John Green Books-I'm usually the slowest reader ever so the fact that these were both finished within two weeks is testament to just how good they are. I won't say too much about the book's plots but if you're yet to read any of John Green's books then you should start with either of these two. His writing is addicting and he gets into the minds of teenaged misfits better than any other novelist, in my opinion.
Diva Midi Ring, part of a set of four and Karen Walker Daisy Ring-I love flowers, flower rings, and midi rings. In short, this is the perfect jewelry combo for me right now. You don't want to be layering yourself in hefty statement jewellery during the Summertime and dainty rings like these ones are perfect.
Soap and Glory Hand Food-Most of my hand creams have found new homes recently because I love this one so much. Hand creams are one thing I'm very particular about. If they're too thick or greasy then I tend to not like them. Thankfully, Hand Food is neither of those things. It smells divine and leaves your hands feeling so soft.
Therapie is a brand that has been on my radar for a while thanks to Anna. I'd often considered ordering their bath salts from Cult Beauty but the main jar of these is on the pricy side and I wanted to try these out first before investing in the bigger jar. Flash forward a few months and I found this online store, based from a beauty therapy clinic in New Zealand. Over Christmas they were selling packaged sets that included minis of the Therapie products so I decided to pick one up and finally try the bath salts. Rambling aside, here's what I thought..
The Week in Instagrams @nanawintour: *The best of the beauty Instagram world. *Friday morning smoothie, December's Allure and She & Him's most recent album. *Paper Plane at Mount Maunganui-I wanted to go on quite the spree here. *Sitting Pretty camera straps. The glittery one is calling my name. *Cat turning mixing bowls into a couch. *A basic 'face of the day' on holiday. I packed way more makeup than I needed as usual.
Must-Watch of the Week: Gossip Girl Season 5. I've been addicted to this series in the two or so weeks since I received it at Christmas. The first series will always hold a special place in my heart as will pretty much every other season but there's just something about Season 5. While I have a vague idea of how the entire series ends there's still enough twists and turns not to mention scandal aplenty to keep me happy.
Product of the Week: Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 05. Remember how when I first bought this it was used religiously? Well, it was abandoned for a while but I took it away this week to the beach and it was all I wore on my lips most days. These are more pigmented than a sheer gloss but not quite as opaque as a lipstick. Unlike a gloss though these are not sticky or tacky. If you're a bit intimidated by nude lipstick then you might prefer these neutral glosses from Clarins. They're not too harmful on the bank balance, come in a gorgeous colour range and are deliciously scented.
Must-Read of the Week: I've really been loving Izzy's blog lately in particular this post. That Gorman print is so dreamy. Izzy has such fabulous styling though and her pictures are always beautifully shot so definitely check her blog out if you want some fashion inspiration.
Added to the Wishlist: Up until 24 hours ago Lilacism from Essie was atop my wishlist but I took advantage of a sale and bought this slightly discounted. Now onto something I actually need, sneakers. I've been eyeing up these ones from Nike recently. I'm not going to pretend to know anything about sneakers and their functions but I've heard good things about these ones. They're nice and lightweight too which I like.
When I visited Priceline last year in Australia, looking for Hydraluron was one of the first things I did. My regret now is that I didn't pick up more along with Pepta-Bright, another of their cult products. If you have tried Hydraluron, you'll know why it is becoming a popular product on the skincare shelves. If you have not, here's the deets you need to know..
Hydraluron is a serum which contains hyaluronic acid, a common ingredient in moisturisers. This serum is said to increase skin hydration levels with continued use which means you end up using less of an additional moisturiser as a result.
I apply this serum after the bulk of my skincare routine is done at night and then apply moisturiser over the top. When you apply your moisturiser you feel it binding to the serum. Your moisturiser isn't left sitting on the surface of the skin and it sinks in better. I use quite a light moisturiser but I imagine it'd be particularly effective if you're using something thicker as well.
The next day after using Hydraluron I noticed such a difference to my skin already. The texture was a lot smoother and not as bumpy in places where I had blemishes. One month on the texture of my skin is still noticeably smoother and it seems to be less sheeny on the surface which I'm putting down to my moisturiser absorbing easier. I am also using a lot less moisturiser too because my skin is much more hydrated. Wins all round.
If you can get your hands on a tube of Hydraluron then it is worth the investment. If you're in Australia they can be readily found at Priceline and of course Boots in the UK. I am yet to find it in New Zealand but if it does make its way here I will let you know.
*Have you tried Hydraluron? What are your thoughts on the serum?
#fact I love Instagram. Whether it's stunning food photos, cute cat snaps or beauty and fashion themed pictures, there is something about it that is addicting and we all love it. Today I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite Beauty Instagram accounts to follow. This is by no means all of my favourites but of all the beauty-folk that I follow, these ones probably see me reaching for the heart button the most.
Evachen212 Eva was the Beauty Editor over at Teen Vogue until last year when she became Editor in Chief of Lucky magazine. She regularly shares photos of new products across her desk, macarons, skincare and what she's used up lately. If you want snapshots of upcoming products to look forward to, or even instant recommendations then you should give her account a follow.
Into The Gloss The ladies who bought us the infamous top shelf posts on their blog also share their lives in photos. They post inspiring quotes, beauty editorial photos and of course stunning pictures from their blog posts. ITG is such a brilliant blog if you're looking for product recommendations or the scoop on what some of fashion and beauty's famous faces love and use.
Mecca Cosmetica Readers outside Australia and New Zealand, Mecca is like a very scaled down Sephora or Space NK. Expect to see behind the scenes snaps from Mecca HQ, new products arriving on the shelves and even staff favourites. Their regular nail polish photos will have you wanting to rush out and buy the shades they're sporting too. Give them a follow if you love all things beauty.
The Week(s) in Instagrams @nanawintour: *Festive fingertips with Essie and Bobbi Brown polishes. *The festive face lineup for Christmas Day last week. *Flowers on the family table. *Candles and plates cause excitement these days. *December Favourites. *A new calendar by Dear Colleen. *DVD decisions. *The first burn of Figuier. *Shy kitty cat. *I started reading The Fault In Our Stars this week. I am obsessed with John Green's books at the moment. *Setting goals and dreaming new dreams for 2014. *American Beauty.
Must-Watch of the Week: Love Actually, especially if you didn't watch it at Christmas time. There's just something about this film that always leaves me feeling so..happy and confident in the knowledge that love really is all around. This film also has such an amazing cast-Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson etc.
If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen the amazing parcel I got from one of my blogging friends Hannah last month. She knows I love beauty so she sent over a ton of products for me. I decided to split them all up, trial everything for a month and then write about them all over the next three months. If you're in New Zealand some of these things may be harder to track down but there are links so you can see where everything is from.
Fresh Sugar Lip Polish-Lip scrubs are designed to remove the dry flaky patches from your lips to make them smoother and softer. This scrub has a lemon and brown sugar scent to it. Unlike traditional scrubs this has more of a gel-like feel to it and the texture isn't chunky pieces of sugar as such. I rub this in to my lips, pat the excess off with a facecloth and then apply a lip balm. You will be left with super smooth, hydrated lips by the next day so this is a great one to use if you're wanting to wear a particularly matte lip product out.
NYX Butter Gloss in Merengue-When we were in Melbourne last November I found the NYX counter in Target. They must have just had a sale though because practically every product was sold out. These butter glosses receive a lot of love online and they totally deserve it. These are super creamy and have a cake frosting scent to them. These are not sticky or tacky in any way so if you find yourself having hair meets gloss moments then you will like these. I have the shade Merengue which is described as a lilac pink. I didn't think this kind of colour was going to suit me but it does at the moment, thanks Summer skintone(!).
Burt's Bees Refreshing Lip Balm, Grapefruit Scented-I'm not sure if I have ever declared my love for all things grapefruit scented on the blog before but Hannah knew I love it and sent me this lip balm. We can get Burt's Bees in New Zealand but I don't think I have seen this particular balm before. Anyway, aside from the fact that I love the scent, this lip balm goes perfectly with the lip scrub as well. My lips always feel fantastic after using this and a scrub together.