Anastasia Beverly Hills ‘That Glow’ Glow Kit

If 2015 was the year of contouring, 2016 is the year of highlighting. Both Jeffree Star and Nikkie Tutorials have recently taken to Youtube to post full-face looks using only highlighting powders and central to their routines are the ABH Glow Kits.

Released at the end of 2015 to honour Anastasia Soare’s birthday, the palettes continue the success of the brand’s Illuminators, which took the beauty world by storm. And what could be better than one highlighter? Well, four.

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The ‘That Glow’ Kit is the warmer of the two palettes currently available (though we await the release of the ‘Sun Dipped’ version this summer): while the ‘Gleam’ Kit offers rosy, pearl tones, ‘That Glow’ is all about a golden bronze shine. As a pale girl myself, I must confess that I snapped up ‘Gleam’ in an instant, ‘That Glow’ just looked too bronzy, my milk bottle skin wouldn’t do it justice. But, I was wrong. In fact, in my opinion, the ‘That Glow’ Kit is the slightly more versatile palette of the two, even for someone as fair as me.

 

Packaging:

In contrast to the weighty, decorative, luxurious, packaging on the market – the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Blush Palette, for example – the Glow Kits cardboard casings may be a little underwhelming. That being said, they are very resilient to wear and tear, mostly because they are so slim and lightweight. They can be slipped into a suitcase, handbag or Zuca without taking up much room at all. The pans can also be removed and added to a custom magnetic palette if preferred.

 

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So, the shades themselves:

-Sunburst: ‘a bright luminous gold with a metallic finish’

-Bubbly: ‘a champagne rose with a pearlescent finish’

-Dripping in Gold: ‘a lavish gold with a vivid reflective finish’

-Golden Bronze: ‘a sultry, warm bronze with a gold-flecked finish’

 

Colour Range:

There really is a shade for everyone, and for every possible use on the face, eyes and body. Though ‘Sunburst’ looks very yellow in the pan, on the skin it is less a ‘luminous’ gold than a true champagne that, if not used as a highlight, can be mixed with face powder for that all-over luminosity. ‘Bubbly’ and ‘Dripping in Gold’ are very, very similar in colour, but their respective pink and peach undertones means that they can be layered over top of blush for the ultimate mineralised finish. Lastly, ‘Golden Bronze’ <3. This shade is just too warm for me to use as a highlight, but makes for the most beautiful eyeshadow when paired with neutrals or jewel toned emeralds and navies.

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Texture & Staying Powder:

The powders aren’t exactly soft and buttery, but are rather very finely milled. This means, though there is a fair amount of fall-out, they are extremely lightweight on the skin and are less likely to cake when layered on top of foundation, concealers or other cream-based products. Their intensity is somewhere between Becca and The Balm (swatched below); it takes a few swirls of the brush/fingers to really gather up the pigment. That being said, the powders are buildable and can also be applied with a damp brush – ideally, using a mixing medium like MAC Fix+ rather than water – to maximise their shine.

With summer just around the corner, the ‘That Glow’ Kit is the perfect addition to any makeup arsenal; it is truly a ‘kit,’ not just a highlighter palette, but an eyeshadow/blush/body bronzer set rolled into one.

 

Will you be getting your glow on? Check it out That Glow Kit.

 

*this link will take you to Roses Beauty Store, an online UK makeup stockist. In return for some of the newest releases, I’ll be blogging for them regularly.

 

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My First Lush Purchases

I’m so late to the party with this one, but now I’m here, I’m staying ’til the lights come on.

There’s a reasonable excuse for my tardiness, though; when I was younger I bought a selection of bath fizzes on holiday and after using only one of them I came out in a horribly itchy rash from my neck to my toes. Ever since I’ve avoided anything strongly perfumed like the plague and, because you can smell a Lush store from 100 metres away, that meant all things Lush.

Having bought a Lush lip scrub a few months ago (it was vigorously recommended to me by a friend) and having not come out in hives, I wondered back in my local store to have a nose around and came away with these three pots of loveliness.

Big Salt Shampoo, £12.25

I have fine hair and a lot of it so I am constantly adding all sorts of products to give it a bit of life: hairspray, wax sprays, gels, gums, leave-in conditioners, mousses, toners, dry shampoos, serums – you name it and it’s probably in my hair. As such, it doesn’t seem to stay fresh for more than a day without looking and feeling heavy and greasy. Lush’s Big Salt Shampoo is the answer; its unique formula is designed to remove this gunk by exfoliating your hair and scalp, leaving both wonderfully smooth and refreshed (and smelling of fresh laundry!).

The name is literal: huge chunks of sea salt are suspended in a lusciously thick shampoo. The salt acts as an exfoliator, scrubbing away dirt from the scalp and hair strands, and a volume booster (along with the help of  extra virgin olive oil and seaweed, both rich in protein) by slightly drying the hair, much like a sea salt spray does. With reduced moisture, the hair is not so ‘slippy’ and less like to slide out of shape and style, meaning it’s easy to achieve that beachy, tousled look that’s ideal for Spring.

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Of course, if used too regularly, the salt will begin to dry your hair too much; I only use it once a week at the most. Another reason I have to use this sparingly (*sad face*) is because it contains lemon and lime juice, both natural bleaching agents. While these help make your hair look ultra-shiny, they are the nemesis of toners and hair colourants. As with any shampoo, toners and hair colours will fade, but the added ingredients in this pot of magic will accelerate this.

Overall, then, I’d definitely recommend this product for those of you who, like me, choke in a cloud of hairspray each morning and, by the end of the week, feel like their head is clogged full of product. I’ve never before used a shampoo that has been so effective at removing all those nasty gunky bits in such a natural, gentle way.

Rub, Rub, Rub, £8.75

So if Big Salt is an exfoliator for your head, this is for your bod. Again, the secret with this is sea-salt. Having sensitive skin, I was a little nervous that the formula would bring me out in spots, but the fine grains of salt offer gentle exfoliation as well as antiseptic properties that helps remove dead skin without causing agitation.

The mixture lathers only slightly when mixed with water meaning it doesn’t lose any of it’s impact and leaves skin feeling super soft, fresh and hydrated. A body scrub that also moisturises is quite difficult to come by in my experience; as you can see in the picture below, the scrub is quite loose and seems to leave behind an oily residue on the skin.

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For a Lush product, I personally find the smell rather so-so. Made with mimosa blossoms, the scrub has a very verrrrry ‘clean’ smell, which is nice, but not particularly girly or sweet smelling for my taste. That being said, it’s not an awful smell and always makes the product suitable for guys too (don’t say I never think of you gentlemen ;)).

The only warning I offer is to be careful using this after shaving. Yes, I know you should exfoliate and then shave, but sometimes I forget… The citrus juice and salt in this mixture will soon let you know if you’ve nicked your leg…

Helping Hands, £7.75

I can’t stand when my hands are dry; when it feels like any sudden movements will result in split skin and flecks of blood. As I’m usually covered in make-up, I repeatedly wash them with soap and water, which does nothing for my skin. Lush’s Helping Hands hand cream is perfect for restoring all this lost moisture and making my skin feel supple again.

This cream particularly targets sore hands: honey, lavender and marigold bring relief to sore and chapped skin; chamomile reduces redness and linseed softens skin to limit splitting and flaking. All Lush moisturisers rely on an amazing cocktail of natural emollients. Helping Hands is packed full of almond oil, cocoa butter and shea butter to create a thick lotion that takes only seconds to soak in, leaving no greasy residue only wonderfully soft skin.

Again, the smell is divisive. The most prominent smells are that of the butters which both have a peculiar nutty, almost smoky, smell, but it is by no means overpowering and seems to disappear as soon as the lotion sinks into the skin.

So there are my first Lush purchases and they won’t be my last! Though they’re not cheap, the quality of the products are unbelievable and knowing that every ingredient has been selected from a natural source with individual thought as to it’s purpose and effect makes every single penny worth it.

What are your favourite Lush products? What would you recommend I try next?

Hope you like!

Molly x

My Skincare Routine

I have a few confessions to make… I hate the taste of water; the only fluids I’ll willing consume are tea, gin and custard. I never manage my five-a-day (or is it seven-a-day now?) and often have cake for breakfast. And, worst of all, I am a picker; spots, blackheads, random lumps that appear on my forehead, all feel the force of my two forefingers.

All things considered, I should be prone to spots, blemishes and wrinkles. Though I have my genes to thank for my relatively clear skin, I have developed a skincare routine that helps keep break-outs at bay, as well as one for when that monster zit appears on the very tip of my nose.

Make-up Removal:  Simple ‘Kind to Skin’ Cleansing Wipes, £3.49

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I have been using these make-up removal wipes for as long as I can remember. My skin is highly sensitive to strong perfumes (even Johnson’s Baby Moisturiser stings 😦 ), but these wipes have never caused any irritation. Simple’s wipes are produced with different formulas, each tailored to different skin types – Cleansing, Exfoliating, Oil Balancing, etc. – I use Cleansing because I prefer full-coverage foundations and concealers that need an equally thorough removal. The only one I would not recommend is the Exfoliating wipes as their course texture can leave your skin feeling a little raw. 

No7 Beautiful Skin Eye Make-up Remover, £8.5010859346_10152459363021128_1544665499_n

The amount of eye make-up I wear means that I have to be careful not to scrub away at my eyes too much when removing mascara and eyeliner. This remover is excellent for lifting off those last bits of glitter, crusted eyeliner (eww) and waterproof mascara. As it is oil based, those with particularly oily skin may not take to this product, however, I would recommend it for anyone with dry or combination skin as it both cleanses and moisturises that delicate skin around the eye.

Cleansing and Toning: No7 Soft and Soothed Gentle Cleanser and Gentle Toner, £8.00 each

Boots No7 is a brand I completely trust when it comes to taking care of my skin. Their products are hypo-allergenic and ph-balanced so as not to cause irritation. As well as having a beautifully silky texture, they also have enough power to sink deeply into the skin, leaving it feeling fresh and hydrated.

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I know it’s kind of gross but this picture is of the cotton wool pad I use to cleanse my face. This is AFTER using a make-up wipe. Though make up wipes will remove make-up on the surface of the skin, cleansers penetrate deeper into the pores, helping to lift out the residue inside.

Obviously cleansing is crucially important, but why use a toner? Many people skip this process, but toning is essential for restoring the ph balance of your skin. When I wasyounger my mom told me that while cleansers open your pores, toners close them; I don’t have the dermatological evidence to back this up, but it does enforce the equal importance of cleansing and toning (ideally twice a day). My favourite moisturiser is also No7, I review it here.

Blemishes: No7 Colour Calming Primer, £10.50

In this col10850801_10152459363016128_1593091137_nd weather, my skin can often look red and mottled. To solve this issue I use this colour calming primer, again by No7. The lotion is green – opposite to red on the colour wheel – meaning, once blended, it is particularly effective at reducing redness and helps to even out your complexion (as you can see from the picture below).

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When I do have break-outs, I often apply this to the area using a concealer brush, working it around the spot to mute that angry red colour.  The key to this product is blending: a little goes a long way and, without effective blending, can leave your skin with a peculiar green-grey undertone. Once foundation and concealer is applied, however, the green colour is not at all noticeable.

What products are key to your skincare routine?

Hope you like!

Molly x