My 5 Minute Face

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My new job has me at work every day for 5:30 in the morning, and with my travel time being from 20 minutes to 2 hours, there are days when I have to be up about 3am. Urgh! So because of this, I prefer to get as much sleep as I possibly can and I’ve managed to hone down my getting ready skills so that I’m good to go in 20 minutes flat with 5 (okay maybe more than 7) being spent on putting my face on.

I usually keep my make up quite basic when I go to work. It’s only really been this last year that I’ve been a bit more daring with my make up and branched out into wearing eye shadows and lipstick, so I feel a bit self conscious if I’m a bit more “done up” for work. But here are my go to essential products that I like to think leave me looking acceptable in the quickest time possible:

1. Primer

Primer is a must for me to prep my oily skin before putting on my foundation. Benefit’s Porefessional is my all time favourite. Its pricey compared to what you can get in drug stores (Maybellines Baby Skin and Rimmels Stay Matte Primer are on my “Buy and Try” list) but its a brilliant product that controls any excess oil so that my foundation stays put for longer.

2. Foundation

I’m loving mineral foundation lately but, when I’m in a rush of a morning, I find it much more time efficient to use a liquid foundation and apply it with my fingers. I tend to mix up what foundation I use quite often (I have many stored away in my Muji storage), but lately I’ve been reaching for one of my favourites, Urban Decays Naked.

3. Concealer

Concealer is essential for covering up any blemishes, which my skin seems to be very much fond of recently, and the dark circles that the early starts have brought on as my body clock just isn’t used to it yet. Benefit’s Boi-ing in Shade 01 is my weapon of choice as it covers anything up perfectly and is long lasting.

4. Blusher

To add a bit of colour and warmth to my face, blusher is essential especially because I’ve decided that I can sacrifice putting any bronzer on. Since I bought Rockateur in September, I haven’t used another blusher. The colour is just perfect.

5. Mascara

I think like most girls, if I only had time for one product it would have to be mascara. I love a long, dramatic lash and if I could be bothered to put on false lashes every morning, or pay out to have semi permanent lashes put on every month, I would. A combination of my GOSH and Soap & Glory’s Thick & Fast (or Benefit’s They’re Real) is the closest I manage to get to the false lash look using mascara.

6. Brows

To think that a year ago I never used any product whatsoever on my brows makes me cringe so badly. Its unbelievable the difference a well defined brow can make to your face and its now a step I can’t ever imagine skipping. I love Benefit’s Brow Zings. I love the wax/powder combo and find it so easy to apply.

7. Powder

To set my makeup and also to control any excess oil/shine throughout the day, I use a powder. Benefit’s the PoreFessional powder is the perfect tool to stick in my bag to use whenever I need it.

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Soap & Glory Thick and Fast Mascara

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For the last two years, there’s only been two mascara’s that I’ve been interested in: Benefit’s They’re Real which I use as a second coat over GOSH’s Growth Mascara and I still love them. Using them both gives me the perfect length and volume that I look for during the day, when I still want dramatic lashes but can’t be bothered to put falsies on before I go to work.

But at Christmas I discovered a new favourite. When I saw my cousin over the festive period, her lashes looked amazing so I asked her what she was wearing and it turned out to be Soap & Glory”S Thick and Fast mascara. Now, I love They’re Real so much I wouldn’t have even considered going to buy it, especially as I’m well stocked up on They’re Real after finding myself in Duty Free every Monday in recent months. But, luckily, I’d been given the Yule Monty set as a gift and this was a hidden gem in the set and I haven;t reached for They’re Real since.

The brush is really big with a tapered end which means application, even on the inner corners, is very easy, and results in long lashes with a lot of volume. I’d go as far to say more volume than I usually get out of They’re Real. A few people have mentioned that when they use it they get a lot of flaking throughout the day, but this isn’t something I’ve experienced. Although, I do also use this as a second layer over my GOSH mascara so maybe that helps to keep it in place.

As much as I love it though, I have a massive gripe over the packaging. Every time I pull out the wand, a ridiculous amount of product is left on the brush which, if not scraped off properly, leads to clumping and horrible, spidery lashes. It also means that a lot of product is wasted when I scrape it of on the top of the tube.

At £10.50, it’s a bit more expensive than your usual drug store mascaras, but I really do think that the product is more comparable to high end products. Savings on the price can easily be made as well if you manage to get it during one of Boots regular 3 for 2 offers.

What I got for Christmas

Well that’s it, it’s over for another and this Christmas I was so lucky and got spoiled rotten! I thought I’d share with you a few snaps of what I was treated to.

First up we have my beauty products.

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I now have enough Soap & Glory to last me a life time. I’n not sure about you, but I was a bit disappointed that the majority of gift bags this year from Soap & Glory didn’t have full sizes of the Clean On Me shower gel. I’m a massive fan of the traditional Soap & Glory scent, but most of the products this year are more fruity, not that I’m complaining!

I also got Mac lipstick in Cyber. I’d caught this shade on a photo of my boyfriend’s friend, and begged him for weeks and weeks to find out what shade it was. He refused to tell me and the little gem bought me it as a surprise Christmas gift.

And I can’t wait to try the Origin’s face masks I got from my Mum and Dad. I’ve read so many good things about them so can’t wait to give them a try, especially the Overnight Mask.

I’d been lusting after the Real Techniques brushes as my brush collection is very, very basic and I was treated to the starter packs from my boyfriends parents. And I finally got hold of the Naked 3 pallet!! I’d sent my mum out for it the day it was released and had begged her to let me have it as soon as she got it, but she made me wait! And finally I have it! I haven’t actually used it yet but I’ve had a quick swatch of the shades and they are truly gorgeous.

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I also got a gorgeous pair of sheepskin slippers off my aunty from a brand I’d never heard of: Snowpaw. They are so comfortable and cute. I’m debating whether to put them away to save for my holiday to Florida in April along with the many pyjamas I received.

My boyfriend’s parents also bought me a scented candle set from Lily Flame which smell amazing.

And how gorgeous is my book! Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite books and I’d spotted this leather bound copy in Waterstone’s a few months ago and fell in love. My boyfriend surprised me with this and the King Charles Spaniel Calendar (He says that’s the closest I’m getting to having a real one).

So there’s my presents! I plan on blogging a lot more in the new year so have a perfect head start on products I can review!

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and I wish you all the best for 2014!

xoxo

Soap & Glory Solar Powder

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Bronzer is a staple part of my make up routine. Mascara and bronzer were the only make up products I used when I first started to wear make up so when I don’t use it, for some reason, I feel naked. For years my bronzer of choice was Bourjois Delice de Soleil and I never used another product. But now, oh how things have changed.

I have an extremely pale skin tone. I don’t know what shade I am in MAC, which seems to be the point of reference for all beauty bloggers, but I’m usually buying Ivory shades. So, naturally, its extremely hard to find a bronzer that gives a nice natural colour. Now, back when I was using Delice de Soleil I was a massive fan of the old fake tan. I used to apply it every night and now, when I look back at pictures, I wish I’d listened to my friends who told me time and again that I constantly smelt of the stuff and it was a little too much. But after ending my love affair with the artificial sun-kissed look and embracing my pale skin tone (I’d like to think I now look like an English rose), Delice de Soleil was just far too orange in tone for me. So I was on the look out for a new bronzer.

About two years ago, I was having a nose at the Soap & Glory make up range and came across their bronzer, Solar Powder. There was probably some sort of 3 for 2 offer on beauty goods on at the time so I decided to give it a go and I am so so glad that I did. Solar Powder is a mix and match, multi-shade bronzer with two different toned powders.

I like to use a basic powder brush to run over the two powders, more so on the paler one, and I find that it gives a perfect, subtle hint of colour to my face. For times when I have a bit more time to spend on putting my make up on, which isn’t often, I concentrate the brush more on the darker shade and use it for contouring my face.

It applies like a dream. Swirling the brush lightly over the pan gets just the right amount of product onto the brush. On the first use, there is a shimmery overspray over the powder, but just swirl the brush around a few times and it’s disappears so theres no need to worry about the powder being shimmery.

With the two toned powders, I can find the perfect colour for my skin tone. Its not orange at all and genuinely does give a bronzed look, rather than a tangoed look. Saying that, I can’t imagine it working well on darker skin tones as its not at all overpowering on my pale face.

I love this product. Love, love, love. But my only problem is with the packaging. The design is typically Soap & Glory and retro, but its made of cardboard so it gets very grubby, very quickly and for the price of it I think they could definitely package it better. But ladies, if you’re pale like me and want the perfect bronzer, then this is the one for you.

You can find the bronzer here for £11 or at Boots, where there’s almost always some sort of offer on on beauty products.