Monday, March 30, 2015
5 Product Face For Spring

5 Product Face For Spring

Spring and summer are definitely the seasons where going lighter on the makeup feels and looks great. I always like to challenge myself to see if I can compile a whole look together with just a few products and today it was time to give one a go for spring.

I like to have a fresh and flawless base still, but one that gives me a natural finish and doesn't make my skin matte. The L'Oreal True Match Foundation (£9.99) is lovely and one I've been banging on about a lot recently so I'll keep my love to a minimum today...

I wasn't going to go for a concealer, but I had an extra place to fill and thought my dark circles could do with some love. I went for the Maybelline Dream Lumi Concealer (£6.99) which is one of those highlighting pen concealer thing-ys. As I wasn't using a shimmery blush I wanted something which is going to add a bit of light to the face so this is a great one. Speaking of blush, I went for a cream formula from Laura Mercier in the Shade Rosebud (£21.50). Using a cream means I can also pop it on the lips, a great little way to cheat. This shade is a lovely pink, a bit darker than ones I already own but that makes it very suitable on the lips and adds a natural flush of colour to the cheeks.

I couldn't neglect my brows so I used the Benefit Brow Zing (£24.50) to fill them in and I also blended the power into my crease to add some subtle definition on the eyes. Another amazing trick to get away with only using 5 products!

Mascara is also a must and I went with a waterproof formula to hold my curl and ensure minimal smudging. I love Clinique mascaras and today I used their High Impact Waterproof Mascara (£17.50) which gives lovely length and separation to the lashes.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Prep n Prime

Prep n Prime

When it comes down to how your makeup sits, looks and lasts, it's normally down to how you prep and prime your skin beforehand. This can be done in the form of a moisturiser, serum or primer, all of which help prep the skin and protect it. 

Finding a moisturiser which has an SPF and a touch of colour can be a great option to use under foundation or to use alone on days you don't feel like wearing a tonne of makeup. Origins VitaZing (£29.00) is lovely option and also adds a bit of glow and colour back into the skin. This also contains an SPF of 15 which is essential to protect the skin from sun damage and slow down your skins ageing process. CC creams are also a lovely option and hold great skin benefits. Estee LauderOrigins and Bourjois make some excellent ones! 

Of course if you want your makeup to sit better and last longer then you will want to use a primer. If you want one that has highlighting properties the Dior Glow Maximiser Light Boosting Primer (£28.50) is my favourite. You only need about 1 pump of this and I tend to focus it down the centre on my face and on my cheeks which is where I want the most glow. It's a rosy shade with light reflecting particles and sits beautifully under makeup. If you are looking for something more budget friendly then try the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer (£9.99) which is has a very similar finish. 

As for bog standard primers, loads of brands make decent ones which make your makeup last for the whole day or night. I'm really enjoying the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer (£20.00) at the moment and it's great for smoothing out the skin, but it doesn't have that silicone-y slippy feel that I find most primers have. Instead it's a lot more creamy which I think is down to the mineral base. Laura Mercier also make a great one and the Benefit Porefessional Primer (£24.50) is one to check out it you suffer from large pores. 

If you're going for a smokey eye or using any type of shadows you know will crease or fade throughout the day then you will need to invest in an eye primer. My favourite is the Urban Decay Primer Potion (£16.00) which is a nude shade so evens out the lid and creates a nice, clean canvas for any shadow. You can also find some that are more shimmery or have a tint of colour which is a good option if you want something quick and simple, but still pretty on the eyes. Cream shadows can also be a good eye base option and you can use them alone as they usually come in a lovely range of shades. Maybelline do some great ones at an excellent price, or for something more luxurious MAC and Chanel have some lovely formulas that last all day. 
Friday, March 27, 2015
Compiling A Basic Skincare Routine

Compiling A Basic Skincare Routine

If you're just starting out with skincare it can be hard to decipher what's necessary and what you can afford to skip. I'm hopefully going to whittle down some things that should be in your everyday routine, and look out for a post coming soon about steps you can fulfil once or twice a week. You know your skin better than anyone so make sure you're investing in products that meet your skins needs! And for reference I have normal/combination skin which can get dehydrated at times (it is possible to have more than one skin type!).

If you wear makeup, of course it's going to be more than essential to have a makeup remover laying around. I wouldn't recommend using face wipes, as gentle as some of them claim to be, instead opt for a balm or oil. Balms are really hydrating and are very gentle to the skin, these can also double up as a cleanser but I always go in with a separate cleansing product after to ensure I'm getting it all off! The Body Shop's Camomile Cleansing Butter (£12.00) is lovely, Clinique do a great one and of course the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm (£36.00) is favourite of many bloggers. As for oils, I would recommend the Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil (£10.00). It's cheap and removes makeup like a dream without having to tug away at the eyes.

Next step would be cleansing. I use two separate ones, for morning and one for night, but if you just want one to deal with then opt for the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel (£28.00). It's a gentle moisturising cleanser and I haven't met anyone who hasn't got on with this. I apply this to dry skin then rinse off with a muslin cloth or flannel. For the evening I like to use cream cleansers, I find them really hydrating and leave my skin feeling so soft. A couple of my favourites include the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (£14.00) and the Elemental Herbology Bio-cellular Super Cleanse (£17.60). The latter smells like a spa and is a real relaxing treat at the end of the day.

A good serum/oil and moisturiser combo is essential, and don't think just because you have oily skin you should stay away from moisturisers, loads of decent brands make them for oily skin types. Serums and oils are amazing at treating the skin, whether it be in the moisture department or you want one to sooth and restore. My favourite ever serum is the Keihls Midnight Recovery Concentrate (£36.00), I love the way it makes my skin look when I wake up and it feels so much more hydrated. You can also find some great serums and oils from brands like Sarah Chapman, Estee Lauder and Clarins.
As for moisturisers I'm obsessed with ones Origins make! They have so many to choose from ranging across all different skin types. Keihls also do some lovely, simple and kind to the skin options. Pretty much every skincare brand do moisturisers so if you have a brand you love, take a peek into what they have to offer moisture wise and see if it's what you're looking for.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Easy Blueberry Muffins

Easy Blueberry Muffins

Since I've been obsessing over The Great British Bake Off and re-watching pretty much all of the series, all I want to do is bake. I'm definitely an amateur and don't have the biggest baking repertoire. With that in mind I wanted to make something suitable for spring and fairly easy to make, and as you can tell from the title of this post, today I had a crack at baking some delicious blueberry muffins! I used a recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days (£5.00) recipe book which has some really tasty things to try out!

What you will need..

300g (10 1/2oz) plain flour
155g (5 1/2oz) caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
250ml (9 fl oz) whole milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
85g (3oz) melted unsalted butter
100g (3 1/2oz) fresh or frozen blueberries, or you can use any berries you choose!

Lets get cracking..

1. Preheat the oven to 190C (375F), gas mark 5, and line a tin with muffin cases.

2. Sift together the flour, caster sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and place in a large bowl (I used a freestanding mixer and the bowl that comes with that). Pour the milk into a separate bowl and add the eggs and vanilla essence and mix together.

3. Start slowly mixing the dry ingredients together and add the milk, eggs and vanilla essence. Increase your mixing speed and continue until the batter is smooth. Then add in the melted butter and beat again until its incorporated together.

4. Stir in the berries by hand (I left mine whole) and make sure they are evenly spread throughout the mixture then spoon the batter into the muffin cases leaving a few centimetres gap at the top.

5. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes and until they are looking a nice golden brown colour. Leave them in the tin for a bit before moving them onto a cooling rack! Then of course, eat and enjoy.

If you try out this recipe I hope you love it and tweet me or tag me in a Instagram photo! (@millielouisee_)

Monday, March 23, 2015
Spring Scent - Roses De Chloe

Spring Scent - Roses De Chloe

I think it's safe to say I've found my signature scent...

I first tried out Roses de Chloe (£55.50, 50ml) last year and I'm already on my second bottle and I adore it. I'm not big on perfumes, I don't have an excessive amount and when I find one I like I tend to stick to it. This is definitely a floral scent, as the name would suggest, so if your more of a fruity kind of gal then maybe this one isn't for you. However, with that being said I thought I was a fruity scent girl through and through, I used to use Marc Jacobs Oh Lola and the DKNY apple fragrances beforehand so this was a bit of a change but I love it. The packaging alone is enough to make me want it. It's a perfect addition to any dressing table and along with the Dior and Chanel bottles it looks very chic and luxe. Now is where I try my best to describe the way it smells, wish me luck...

Of course the first major note you get with this one, is rose, now, I hate the smell of roses, another reason why I'm surprised I even smelled this in the first place, but it's not as in your face as sticking your head into a bouquet of roses, so maybe that's why. After a few seconds it's dulled down with hints of white musk and amber (thank you Fragrantica for the prompts) as well as picking up few other floral notes, such as magnolia, and there's also a bit of litchi thrown in there, who knew?

All in all this is a lovely feminine, maybe Parisian, fragrance and I feel super classy and put together with a few spritz of this.

I thought this post would be about 3 lines long as scents really aren't my forte, however I don't think I've done too badly!
Sunday, March 22, 2015
March Makeup Bag - Travel Edition

March Makeup Bag - Travel Edition

I've been toing and froing a lot recently, from uni back to home and up to see the boyfriend, so I've downsized my makeup bag in order to save space in my suitcase. And for a makeup junkie like me, I think I've done pretty well.

I like a versitle base, one I can use in the day and sheer out, and one that builds up nicely in the evenings. This way, I only have to carry one with me and the jobs a goodun. I'm really enjoying the L'Oreal True Match Foundation (£9.99) so that's what's been on my face pretty much everyday. I mix this in with the Dior Glow Maximizer Primer (£28.50, 30ml) for that added bit of radiance, or in the evenings I will apply this first as a primer to ensure my makeup stays put. I only take one concealer with me too. One that's creamy and moisturising enough to go under the eyes, but is a good match for my skin and covers well to use it around my face. So, of course, what else than my Origins Plantscription Concealer (£17.00) which comes everywhere with me. I've been sticking to one palette on my cheeks, The Urban Decay Streak Naked Flushed Palette (£22.50) is great to fit all your cheekbones needs. It has a contour/bronzer shade which is a nice brown which I finds works better for just an overall bronze look, but you could contour with it too. A pinky shimmery highlighter shade which is very pretty on tops of the cheek bones and a pinky peach blush on the end which is a nice everyday shade. I like to mix the blush and highlighter together to give my cheeks a real glow, I love how this looks!

For my eye brows I just take my Soap and Glory Archery Pencil (£8.00) which is a great Brow Wiz dupe and I find works just as well at filling in brows. And the spooley on the end is very handy! I'll pop in a couple of the Maybelline Colour Tattoos (£4.99) which add a little bit of colour and shimmer to the eyes if that's what I'm fancying. I love the shades Bad To The Bronze and Creamy Beige for a simple, natural look. For eyeliner my standard Soap and Glory Supercat Liner (£6.00), and mascara has been the MAX Factor False Lash Effect (£10.99).

I popped my Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm (£5.50) in for some moisture, I like the one in  the stick for everyday as it's not a thick and it's very east to trow on and trow in your bag. I only put in one lip product because I probably have a about six in my handbag anyways. The Calrins Instant Lip Perfector Balms (£18.00) are great for everyday, they smell amazing and the shades they have are lovely and very moisturizing. The colour that I have is 05 which is a beautiful raspberry cherry red.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Getting Your Summer Colour Back

Getting Your Summer Colour Back

It's this time of year when it starts heating up (only every so slightly, I do live in the UK remember..) and the pasty colour of my limbs just isn't cutting it. Theres nothing wrong with being pale and if you love that look, then rock it. I, however, do like a bit of a golden glow and I find these two products give me exactly that.

Tanning your body can be a scary task for many which is why I opt for one thats a bit more foolproof! The Dove Summer Glow Moisturising Lotion (£5.25, 250ml) is a great option if you want to get your colour back in a more gradual subtle way. If you apply this regularly enough you'll end up a lovely golden shade for the warmer months. I don't find it streaks, its very inexpensive and it doesn't make you look orange!! It also comes in a couple of different shades so you can find one that will work well for you. I also love to mix this with an oil occasionally if I'm off out and want to have a-list legs!

For the face I'm always hesitant to stray away from the Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanner (£20.00, 125ml)  because I know it works and doesn't break me out or irritate my skin. Of course you can just go cray on the bronzer, but if you want something that is going to add a more natural hint of colour this is fab! It's a thin liquid-y consistency which means it spreads evenly and blends well. I use this at night so it develops over night, but you can also pop it on in the mornings.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Two Brushes To Add To Your Collection

Two Brushes To Add To Your Collection

I feel like brushes and tools are just as important as the makeup itself, and without them I feel the application just isn't as good. Since last year I've been paying a lot more attention to the brushes I've been using and loving and thought I would share two with you today.

The first is a handy dandy brow tool. The Anastasia #12 Synthetic Duo Brow Brush (£15.00) has a great spooley on one end and a nicely sized angled brush on the other. As you can see the spooley does collect a lot of product if you use it after you've applied your shadow or pencil to your brows which can be annoying but I think its so handy to have I can get over that. The brush itself is synthetic and very good quality. I find I can get good, precise strokes with this and I love using it with a powder product. Once I've done filling in, I'll go back in with my spooley to further shape and blend the shadow, making it more natural. This is a must have for making brows a breeze.

Unfortunately this one is a Sephora brush which I know us UK gals can't get hold of so easily, so my apologies for that. However, if you can pop into a sephora I would recommend wandering over the brush section and checking out their #50 Must Have Angled Blush Brush ($28.00). This is my perfect pick for applying blush. Its a great size, shape, picks up a good amount of product and disperses and blends it evenly and it's soft. You could also use this for contouring as its a good fit for under the cheekbones, or for highlighter which I sometimes do to.

Next on the list to try are definitely the new Real Techniques Bold Metals which I have yet to test out! If you have any other brush recommendations please leave them below as I would love to read through and know what others to try.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Hydration Boosters

Hydration Boosters

When the weather starts to change, my skin does too. For some reasons it has a little temporary freak out and becomes very dry and sensitive around these times of year. When the irritation strikes, I tend to strip my skincare routine right back and only use products that are really hydrating and I know work for my skin.

Starting with cleanser, the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel (£23.80, 100ml) is a lovely one to use both morning and night. It has a great plumping affect and leaves the skin feeling very soft. It comes out as a sort of gel - cream formula and when you massage it into the skin, it sinks in beautifully. It's also great at melting away makeup which is why I use it in the evenings too! Because this is slightly scented I did think it wasn't going to agree with my skin, but it's been lovely and really soothing.

Serums are something I always turn to in a period of bad skin. There are serums for everything so finding one to suit your skin concerns shouldn't be too hard. For hydrating, I of course use Hydraluron (£24.99) in the mornings and my trusty Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate (£36.00, 30ml) at night. The former is perfect under a moisturiser in the mornings. It can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water which is why is so great at creating a moisture barrier. And the latter is just lovely. I've used this for a couple of years now and I love the way my skin looks when I wake up, so plump and illuminated.

If you're skin is more dry than sensitive I would recommend using moisture mask. The Superfacialist Rose Intense Moisture Mask (£8.99, 125ml) is a nice cheap option for adding a good bit of moisture. I find that with my skins current condition it does sting a bit so I've been steering clear - think that may be the rose scent which is fairly prominent. I've used this before however and it does work and makes your skin feel great afterwards.
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Reasons To Love Yoga

Reasons To Love Yoga

First things first, I am no yoga expert and am far from qualified to discuss the benefits and what poses are good for what, but this is what I have to share from my experiences!
Since I made the discovery of Yoga with Adriene, and her amazing 30 days of yoga series, I've fallen in love and its become a part of my daily routine. I have just enough room for my yoga mat in my little uni room and I love to roll it out at the end of the day to relax and wind down. But what makes yoga so special I hear you ask? Well...

It builds strength and flexibility... Seems like a rather obvious one, but yoga is actually a pretty good workout. Okay, its not as strenuous as lifting weights or any of that jazz, but it definitely gets your muscles working. I can certainly feel my upper body becoming stronger and I can very nearly touch my toes for longer than 0.5 seconds with straight legs which excites me greatly.

It helps with your breathing technique... Yoga is a great excuse to focus entirely on yourself and your breathing. Adriene is great at encouraging you to use and focus on your breath and when practising something a little more tricky, focusing on your breath is a great way to get through it. Also practising poses like savasana is an excellent opportunity to use your breath to relax your body.

It will improve your posture... Since a lot of yoga includes sitting and standing with your shoulders rolled back, chest open and back straight it's a great way of getting out of that slumped position we seem to inhibit from sitting in chairs all day! Mountain pose is great for this.

Makes you more body aware... This is more within the practice itself, but you can really feel every muscle working is some poses, plank and warrior especially. Even thinking about your neck and how that should feel, which is a body part I tend to forget about. Warrior is great for engaging the core and getting those legs working!

It's very relaxing... Adriene always dedicates the final minute or two to savasna which is a nice (extremely simple) pose which lets you unwind, breathe and fall into a state of relaxation, perfect to end with. If you do this in the evenings, or before bed, it should help you sleep that little bit better and I find I get to sleep a lot quicker if I combine this is no technology before bed which doesn't always work but... I also feel so much more calm and collected after a practice.
Friday, March 13, 2015
Barry M Quick Dry Polishes

Barry M Quick Dry Polishes

If you're anything like me and hate waiting around for your nails to dry and they always smudge after 10 minutes because you're trying to do something else, Barry M have released a new formula of nail polish which promises a speedy drying time, so these should have you covered.

The line contains many pastel shades perfect for spring and summer, and for the price you pay like all Barry M nail polishes, these really aren't too bad at all. Granted, the first coat can be a tad on the streaky side, but with opaque pastel shades that is normally the case, regardless of brands. The two shades I went for were In a Heart Beat and Road Rage (although the labelling on the bottles differ from the Boots website, so hopefully you'll get which ones I'm talking about!). The latter is a shade I love, its a minty green, blue-y shade which is one of my favourite colours! In a Heart Beat is a shade I haven't really come across before and I definitely don't have anything else like this. It's a pinky peach shade which is quite girly and not something I would normally pick, but I'm trying to branch out. There's a couple more shades I'm interested in trying from the line, including a soft pale blue and lilac shade, because I don't have enough lilacs already!

For the most important factor, do they dry quickly?! And yes, yes they do. Within about 10 minutes you can go about your daily business and not have to worry your nails smudging. These don't last amazing well on the nails however, but for £3.99 you can't go wrong.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
'Creamy Beige'

'Creamy Beige'

The Maybelline colour tattoos are my favourite cream shadow formulation from the drugstore, and when they released their new leather effects line, I had to pick one up.

I went for the shade Creamy Beige which is lovely for an everyday base all over the eye. Its a beige shade, as the name would suggest, and I think it's a very chic colour that anyone can pull off. From swatching all the different ones, this shade definitely stood out to me, although I do want to try the colour Vintage Plum for something a bit different.

You can apply these with your fingers, or with a brush, and the application is very smooth and easy to blend, as well as giving off a good amount of colour. Being in their leather effect line, I did expect it to have a little bit more of a sheen to it, however I find it comes off quite matte, which I like!

For the price, £4.99, I think these are amazing and the quality is great. Let me know what shades you've tried as I will definitely be going back for more.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
The Anytime Lip Shades

The Anytime Lip Shades

I love those shades you can put on anywhere, anytime and it just works. For many, nudes may seem like the only option, however you'll be surprised at how many lip colours do themselves justice just about anywhere.

Starting from the left, we firstly have Clinique Super Strawberry Chubby Stick (£17.00). Not being their intense formula means that its sheer enough to just throw on and go. It's a natural raspberry pink-y number which is a nice muted colour for everyday. Then we have an all time favourite, Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lip Cheat (£16.00) which is a great lip pencil for bigger fuller lips and being nude, you can pull this off at any occasion and look great! Over the top of the lip liner, why not go for another nude option? I love the NARS Descanso Stain Lip Pencil (£19.00). It's a satin finish so the shine that it gives looks lovely and doesn't leave you looking dead, which I find some nudes tend to do. With a smokey eye, this looks amazing, so great for the evenings and any other special occasions you may have coming up.

For the slightly more brighter, yet still very wearable shades we have MAC Plumful (£15.00) of course. This is my favourite lipstick! This mauve-y pink brightens up my face and adds a bit of colour without being too overwhelming. If you are only just venturing out of nudes-ville this would be a great one to try if you want something different. Similarly, the Bite Beauty Chablis High Pigment Lip Pencil ($24.00) is another one to try. This is brightest one out of all six, but still one I think is more than appropriate for the daytime and the evenings. You can't exactly throw this one on as it is pigmented so some precision is needed. This is a raspberry pink which can be sheered out or built up to a more intense colour.
Finally for a new addition to my lipstick collection, we have the Clarins Instant Lip Perfecter Balm in 05 Red (£18.00). Although this is meant to be a red shade, I find it's sheer enough to be more of a raspberry. These smell absolutely amazing and they feel so dreamy on the lips! This is one you can just throw on and looks beautiful for any occasion.
Sunday, March 01, 2015
February Favourites

February Favourites

I can't believe it's already March, 2015 is going by too quickly for my liking! Now that another month is over though, I'm going to share with you my favourite products I've used throughout February and loved.

My lip combo this month has been the Rimmel Eastend Snob Lip Liner (£3.99) which is an amazing dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk, and I've actually been using the Rimmel one more! It has a great shape to it which means you can line the lips really well and its not drying either! Over the top of that I've been applying the Bite Beauty Chablis High Pigment Lip Pencil ($24.00). This is a really nice raspberry pink-y shade which is lovely for everyday. It has a matte finish which makes it very long lasting which is awesome! Annoyingly this is a US product so cannot be found in the UK, however you should be able to get it shipped from Sephora.

A new launch this month and one I love are the new Barry M Quick Dry Nail Paints (£3.99). This range has some lovely pastel shades for spring and my personal fav is Road Rage which is a minty green. These do dry super quickly which is perfect if you're like me and very impatient when it comes to drying your nails! The first coat can be a bit streaky, but two and you're good to go.

Another new product for me this month is the Korres Guava Shower Gel (£8.00, 250ml). The smell of this is quite musky and not something I would normally go for but surprisingly I really do love it. It's also fruity and lathers up on the skin well. Its nothing ground breaking, at the end of the day its a shower gel and does what it says on the tin, but I love the smell and have used this all month. And you really can't beat Korres packaging!

A rediscovered product this month has been Moroccan Oil (£13.45, 25ml) and I simply massage this into the ends of my hair after I've washed it. Its really nourishing and smells great and is a perfect option if you suffer with dry and damaged ends like myself. Not the cheapest but definitely worth the money.