Katie Louise

Beauty & Lifestyle

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Illamasqua Beyond Powder Review

There is ALWAYS room for a new highlight in my make up collection and I've had my eye on this beauty for a few months now. With ASOS having a 20% off everything code, it would be rude not to right?

This luxurious baked highlighting powder from Illamasqua looks like a soft pillow in it's pan. It's silky smooth to touch and glides onto the skin with ease. It's not the most pigmented in my collection, but sometime's it's good to have something a little more build-able. When I've been using this, I've been applying all of my other make up first, then MAC fix+'ing my face before sweeping the highlight just before my face is dry. It gives a gorgeous warm glow that lasts all day.

Swatched dry from the pan - use MAC's Fix+ on your brush to add depth (great for the inner corners of the eyes!) You could also pop a little cream highlight underneath for more impact. This is also available in a warmer, bronzey shade 'Epic'', gorgeous for deeper skin tones.


Sunday, 19 June 2016

The Get To Know Me Tag

Photo by Ross Dean Photography

1. Do you have a middle name?
Louise (how original!)
2. What was your favourite subject in school?
Art and Media Studies. Anything creative.
3. What is your Zodiac sign?
4. Do you participate in any sports? 
Does dog walking count?! No, not really sports but I'm pretty active!
5. Favourite Book?
I don’t really have one particular favourite book but I do own lots of cook books and 'self help' books. Anything motivational really.
6. Favourite Colour?
Probably white!
7. Favourite Animal?
Bealges! But I love all animals, just have a special place for dogs.
8. Favourite perfume?
Dior - Hypnotic Poison. Although, I'm really getting into Jo Malone.
9. Have you been out of the country?
Our last big holiday was to Thailand but my last trip out of the country would of been to see my fiance's family in Belfast. We are actually back next weekend!
10. Do you speak any other Languages?
I did study both French and German at school but I'm far from fluent! I would LOVE to be able to speak Italian... Or any other language to be fair! When I go on holiday, I always make the effort to learn a few words/sentences.
11. Do you have any siblings?
12. What’s your favourite store?
13. Did you like school?
Yes! I really enjoyed school and considering I didn't go to a great school on paper, I did pretty well!
14. Favourite YouTubers?
See my last blog post! ;)
15. Favourite Movie(s)?
The Labrynth. Or anything with Ryan Gosling or Tom Hardy in...
16. PC or Mac?
Currently have a PC but I reallyyyy want a Mac.
17. What phone do you have?
Iphone 6S 64GB in gold.
18. How tall are you? 
Around 5'7.
19. What do you order at Starbucks?
Probably more of a Costa girl! But probably a hot chocolate or something fruity.
20. What’s one thing most people probably don’t know about you?
I believe in the law of attraction!
21. One thing you want to do before you die?
Have a family.
22. What quote/phrase do you live by? 
Those who don't believe in magic, will never find it - Roald Dahl.
23. What’s your most listened to song on iTunes? 
PARTYNEXTDOOR - Break From Toronto apparently! Can't get enough of James Bay at the moment though.
23. What kind of style would you define yourself as having?
Simple. Classic. Timeless. (I'm not very trendy)
24. What was the last thing you bought?
Some new slippers from M&S (probably shouldn't admit that?)
If you have any other random questions you'd like to know about me, feel free to ask in the comments!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

My Favourite YouTuber's Right Now

Since discovering the beauty community on YouTube around 7 years ago, I haven't bothered with TV unless Bake Off is on. I very rarely actually sit down in front of my iPad and watch videos, but I have a 'watch later' playlist that I keep updated and I just have it on in the background while doing house chores, getting ready, eating breakfast etc. 

I have learnt most of my make-up application skills from YouTuber's. I remember first coming across Wayne Goss and the PixiWoo sister's and being glued to my computer screen in complete ore (both still amazing!). Everything I had wanted to know or learn, there was a video for it. I would sit and practice in front of my mirror and spend all my spare cash on recommended products. This community is what really inspired me to get into the beauty industry after leaving my dance career. And now to start my own blog, a place to share all my tips and tricks I've learnt over the years. I've managed to narrow it down to my current (always changing!) top 5 favourite beauty channels and a couple of non-beauty channels too.

Top 5 Beauty
Hey Claire - Unfortunately, Claire doesn't post as regularly as she used to, but she still deserves a place on this list as one of my all time faves. Based in LA, she used to work as a make up artist but now blogs and vlogs for a living. Her videos are by far some of the most professional, clean cut and well put together on YouTube. She is so knowledgeable, and I always trust her opinion when it comes to products.

Manny MUA - When I see a Manny video in my subscription feed, I don't even bother adding it to my 'watch later', I just have to watch it there and then. This guy is so funny, beautiful and knows his sh*t! His video's put a smile on my face and I love him.

Vivianna Does Make Up - Probably my favourite from the UK, Anna's videos are to the point and always enjoyable to watch. We have a lot of the same interests and I'm always discovering new beauty products, home bits and recipes thanks to her. She is a great inspiration to me! (Love Lily, too!)

Desi Perkins - THIS GIRL. Desi is just gorgeous and does THE best tutorials. She always looks bomb and she is so artistic with her make up looks and trends.

Nikkie Tutorials - Nikkie is not just talented when it comes to make up, but her video's are hilarious! I have learnt so much from this lady and she is up there for me as one of the best of all time. If you're not into tutorials, you need to at least watch her monthly 'Hits and Oh God No's'.

Sugar Mumma TV - All about educating and inspiring you to realistically create a financial and independent future for yourself. Minimalism, investing and managing time effectively are just a few things I've learnt from this lady.

Hastes' Kitchen - Ian has a Gastro pub background and is really knowledgeable when it comes to nutrition. His recipes are quick, simple, healthy and delicious. Great veggie options for me and meat dishes for my finance, we both enjoy his channel.

If you're not really into YouTube and you prefer more of a read, you need to know about my all time favourite, Caroline Hirons. I don't really keep up with many websites, but I always find the time to be up to date with Caroline's blog. Not only is she most knowledgeable, brilliantly witty, relateable but also wears the crown as Queen of skincare.

Now, somebody help me find the balls to start my own YouTube channel?


Monday, 30 May 2016

My Current Bath Products

After a long day, there's nothing I crave more than a warm, relaxing bubble bath. The bathroom is my zen, happy place where I can lock the door and unwind. I grab a refreshing drink, pop on some music and a few candles, dim the lights low and take off the day. 

It's so easy to get overwhelmed with day to day life, I usually manage to get a pamper in at the weekend and one mid-week where possible. Even just having 30 minutes or so to myself of an evening really helps me to de-stress, clear my mind and re-focus. Dog walking is great for this also!

Tonight, I lit a few of my Aveda 'Light The Way' candles. If you've ever visited an Aveda salon, you'll get an idea to what these might smell like. I've been loving these gorgeous bath salts from Botanicals, another of my favourite organic skincare brands. Not only do these Sandalwood & Sweet Orange Mineral Crystals smell like HEAVEN in a tub, they also contain over 80 essential minerals. They revive tired and aching muscles and turn my bathroom into a spa. I sprinkle a scoop into my bath once it's run and allow them to infuse for atleast 5 minutes before getting in. I can't get enough!

And it's not a proper bath without a Lush bath bomb, right? Tisty Totsy is one of my all time favourites, studded with real rose buds and scented with floral orris root powder, rose and lemon. Guaranteed to lift your spirits!

I also recently picked up this Cafe de Bain Indulgent Bath Creme in Sweet Vanilla Madeleine from my local Waitrose. The cute packaging caught my eye, but the smell is incredible. If you prefer your sweet scents, this one is for you. An all time favourite is the Clarins Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate, an indulgent and aromatic concentrated cleansing treatment (the body oil from this range is beautiful too). 

For tonight's pre-bath skincare, I tried a new eye make up remover - Lancome's Bi Facil. I always go for the bi-phase formulas and this one is actually oil free. First impression is that it took my make up off effortlessly and didn't sting my eyes! I'm near the end of this Lancome Gel Eclat cleanser and even though it leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean, I wouldn't repurchase it. You have to really lather it in your hands with water before you apply it to your face, it's a foamy consistency (which I try to avoid usually) and you can't use it near your eyes (tried it, regretted it instantly). I then followed up with the Sanctuary Spa Radiance Exfoliator which I really recommend, great for complexion refreshing and revealing a more radiant skin. Lastly I covered my face in Kiehl's Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque, a gorgeous deep cleansing Amazonian white clay mask.

Before I get into the bath, I always use my body brush. I don't want this blog post to be too long, so let me know if you'd like a separate post on how and why I use this. Tonight I tried a new product, the DIRTEA Green Tea Scrub. Another natural and organic brand, you wet your skin, apply the scrub and using circular motions especially around problem areas. Leave it to dry for five minutes and then rinse. This is definitely one to use when you have more time but it's so worth it, you'll feel like a new woman (or man!). It also claims to help with any scarring, stretch marks, cellulite, eczema etc. The body wash I'm currently using is good 'ol Soap & Glory's Clean On Me. I've got through so many of these!

By now, you might be thinking 'Wow Katie, this is ALOT of products...' But our skin is our bodies largest organ and no matter how busy I am, I'l make time to look after it. If you feel like you don't have time, make time! Ditch Eastenders or aimless Facebook scrolling one night a week, it will make you feel good.

Now I'm out of the bath, I smother myself in creams and oils. Tonight I went for my Clarin's Moisture Rich Body Lotion (contains shea butter - ultra nourishing) and a little Dove Purely Pampering Body Oil in Pistachio & Magnolia. Like all my skincare, I switch these up depending on how my skin is feeling. I always finish off with a light mist of one of my Victoria Secret's body spray's. Yes, I'm only getting into my pyjamas but it's the perfect finishing touch, it will linger with you all evening. Tonight I didn't have time, but I'l sometimes give myself a little pedicure too.

For my post-bath skincare tonight, I started with the Pixi Glow Tonic (A new game changer to my routine, feeling a separate blog post coming on), Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate (an oldie but a goodie) and First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Lip Therapy. Finally, I like to spritz my bedding with a pillow spray. I'm currently using TempleSpa's Quietude and it really does help to give you a feeling of peace and calm to help you sleep.

Time for a brew, nail paint and a good book (or blog)! What are your favourite bath products?

Saturday, 21 May 2016

BeautyBay Haul

I’ve enjoyed BeautyBay for quite a few years now. It’s great for those luxury beauty brands that you as readily available from your local retailers with an added bonus of free delivery.

I’m almost out of my ALL time fave, holy grail skincare product, Alpha H Liquid Gold. I've been using this little 'facial in a bottle' for years. Fantastic for any uneven skin tone or scarring, blemishes or signs of ageing. This stuff is strong sh*t and I only use it twice a week tops. I personally use it as an intensive overnight treatment, by sweeping a small amount on a cotton pad across freshly cleansed skin and just leaving it solo to do it's work (no moisturisers, serums etc after application). 

The next morning my skin looks clearer, more radiant and plumped. I always use it before an occasion/big event or if my skin is looking tired and dull. It contains liquorice extract to purify and boost vibrancy, the glycolic acid is great for anti-ageing and silk proteins tighten and firm the skin. It stings a little when you first apply it (too harsh to use on the daily) and I can't help but find that incredibly satisfying.

Obviously, one couldn’t resist adding a couple other gems into the basket…

I’ve been loving the Makeup Geek eyeshadows this year and had to try the new contour pan’s to add to my Z-Palette. I got the shade ‘BreakUp’ and it’s the perfect cool toned shade for me. It’s buttery soft and super pigmented, just like the eyeshadows. For the £7.95 price tag, it’s up there with the £35 Kevyn Aucoin Sclupting Powder. I also picked up the Full SpectrumEyeliner from Makeup Geek in black, again incredible opaque colour pay off and super soft on the delicate eye area. Really impressed.

I keep hearing all the YouTube gurus talk about Morphe brushes. I’ve been reaching for my Zoeva brushes of recent but fancied giving these a go (ps.on the subject of Zoeva, I NEED to get my mits on the Cocoa Blend palette!). So far I’m really enjoying them! The quality looks and feels like my higher end brushes, but these won’t break the bank. I picked up the M335 Chubby Blending Buffer brush for concealer (works a treat under the eyes), the M528 Pointed Contour brush for cheekbone contour and the M438 Pointed Contour brush (thinner than the M528, amazing for delicately setting under eyes with powder). I’l be interested to see if they wash up well, so far I haven’t experienced any shedding.

They also threw in a sample of the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser which I have been wanting to give a go. I’m currently using a Detol soap bar (it’s antibacterial and it works!) but I’ve heard great things about the original Beauty Blender cleanser.


Sunday, 15 May 2016

Today's Face - 15/05/16

I had a quick five minute test shoot this afternoon with Neil Mason. I wanted my make up to be comfortable and more natural on the skin and lips with more definition on the eyes. I don't wear lashes casually day to day, but they really help to open eyes on camera and are a must have for any special occasion. I can't get enough of these Makeup Geek eyeshadows at the moment, they blend like a dream and have amazing colour pay off. Let me know if you would like to see my favourite shades.

Products used (all linked):
FoundationBobbi Brown Skin Foundation (3.5 Warm Beige)
Setting powder – Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (Dim Light)
ConcealerUrban Decay Naked Skin (Light Warm)
Blusher Max Factor Crème Puff Blush (Nude Mauve)
Bronzer - Nars (Laguna)
Highlight Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (Champagne Pop)
Eye primerMAC Paint Pot (Soft Ocre)
EyeshadowsMakeUp Geek (Lid - Magic Act, Crease – Mocha and a bronzer to blend)
Eye LinerStila Stay All Day Waterproof (Black)
MascaraClinique High Impact (Black)
Lip Liner Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat (Pillow Talk)
LipstickClinique Lip Pop (Beige Pop)
Setting spray MAC Fix+
2016 © Neil Mason/N Anthony Mason Ltd - All Rights Reserved. Web: [www.nanthonymason.co]. Social: [@nanthonymason #nanthonymason/nanthonymason].


Sunday, 8 May 2016

Origins Mask Marvels

Origins is a brand that I’ve enjoyed for many years now. I’ve always got at least one product in my skincare routine. I like that they are more natural and earth-friendly yet still being results driven. No matter what my skin care need, I can always find a suitable product that will work for me. I thought I would give my three favourite Origins masks a quick mention today.

An activated charcoal mask, great for when my skin is looking congested or if I have any breakouts. Charcoal works like a magnet to draw out impurities from clogged pores. The mask dries hard and feels itchy if you leave it on for too long. Once removed with a warm damp flannel, my skin feels super clean and fresh.

This intense moisturising mask has Avocado Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil to deeply nourish the skin. Japanese Seaweed repairs the skin’s barrier to prevent future dehydration and signs of premature ageing. I love leaving a light layer of this on overnight, my skin wakes up feeling replenished and smooth to touch. Super hydrating and smells gorgeous too.

My little rescue remedy! I grab this mask when my skins texture isn’t at it’s best or I’m looking a little dull. Great for after a long day or a late night or you feel like you might break out. Ideal for a combination skin. The consistency is thick, but spreads easily and feels calming and refreshing when applied. The smell is very herbal like, which I personally quite like but I know isn't to everyones taste. Top marks from me though!

Top to bottom: Clear Improvement, Drink Up Intensive, Out Of Trouble.

I try to use face masks twice a week, I find it makes a real difference to the overall condition of my skin. I usually apply two or three at the same time, in the areas that need it. For example, I usually use a deep cleansing mask on my t-zone area and a brightening or moisturising mask everywhere else. All depending on my skin needs at the time. I really want to get my hands on the Maskimizer Mask Primer, have you tried it?

Monday, 2 May 2016

"A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting" - Christian Dior

I don’t feel ready to leave the house until I’ve got my perfume on. Even before bed, I have a quick spritz of one of my Victoria Secret’s body sprays. The great thing about fragrance is that it's unique to everyone and the smell can even link back to a special memory or person.

On this tray (H&M Home) I keep my go-to fragrances. My taste does vary depending on the occasion, but I do seem to gravitate towards the stronger scents. I always spritz the inside of my wrists (don’t rub them together!) and just below my ears. Good quality perfumes don't require bathing in them. If you find that the scent isn't lasting long enough, try popping a little Vaseline on these points before you spray.

My current favourite day time scent has to be either 'See By' Chloe (left) or 'La Vie Est Belle' by Lancome (right). 'See By' Chloe is ‘the little sister’ of the original Chloe. It’s floral, pretty and playful. Think bergamot, sandalwood with a hint of vanilla. Sad news is, I think this has now been discontinued. Luckily I have a back up! While Lancome’s La Vie Est Belle’s (meaning ‘life is beautiful’) has a top note of iris, a heart of patchouli and a base of gourmand. Both gorgeous and girly.

 As for an evening scent, for me it’s all about Dior. Dior 'Addict' (left) is a sophisticated, floral and oriental fragrance. 'Hypnotic Poison' (right) includes notes of bitter almond, caraway, jasmine sambac, moss, jacaranda wood, vanilla, and musk. These are both strong, warm and mature scents. You don’t need much of it to make a statement! Think stiletto heels, red lippy, you'll smell me before you'll see me kinda vibe. 

When testing out a fragrance in a shop, I’d recommend trying it on your skin rather than those little bits of card. Let the scent settle into your skin for a while and come back to it. See how it lasts, how it smells on you. Sometimes the counters even have samples to take home and try out.

I also love these little Zara scents, perfect size for your handbag as a top up and don’t cost much more than a fiver. These are just the two I currently have, but I've tried most of them and they're all pretty good.

I’ve got my eye on the Jo Malone (Amber & Patchouli Cologne) and Marc Jacobs (Decadence) for my next purchases. What are your favourite fragrances? Do you have a signature scent or switch it up?

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Jaclyn Hill x Becca - Champagne Pop Review

When Jacklyn announced her collab with Becca cosmetics, I just KNEW we were in for a highlighter of dreams. Her Shimmering Skin Perfector in ‘Champagne Pop’ certainly did not disappoint. 

However, this little darling has been a buggar to get hold of! It completely sold out on release and I’ve had it saved on my bookmarks for daily refreshing ever since. You can just imagine how delighted I was opening it as a birthday present from my bestie, what a babe!

First impression was that compared to my usual gold toned highlighters, this looked very warm and peachy. Even though I'm using it sparingly at the thought of it being limited edition, it's quickly become my go-to highlight. This is NOT a highlighter for a natural make up look, this packs some serious shimmer and glow. The pigmentation is incredible, with an almost creamy formulation considering it’s a pressed powder product. A quick, light sweep across cheekbones will take your make up from flat to fabulous in seconds.

‘Champagne Pop’ is quickly becoming one of my all time favourite highlighters and I’ve already got my eye on the other Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors.
£32Cult Beauty.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

So, you want to be more organised?

If you know me, you know I love a good ‘ol list. I think I get it from my Mum, she has always had lists of jobs to do, lists of what to pack, what’s needed on the next shop. I thought I would share with you just a few of the basic things I do to keep myself feeling organised.

Keep your surroundings tidy!
When your desk is cluttered and messy, so is your mind set! I can’t concentrate until my workspace is minimised to just the items I need for that particular task. A quick five minute tidy up can really boost your productivity and reduces distraction. I also do this before leaving the house and before bed. It never feels good getting up or going home to mess. I always try to clean as I go where possible, it saves time in the long run and creates a better environment for concentrating.

Make lists!
Don’t leave it until five minutes before going to the supermarket to write a quick ‘make do’ list, or even worse – not write one at all! You’ll over spend and won’t come back with anything you needed. I write a weekly meal plan for the week ahead, so I know exactly what I need to buy. I add cupboard/cleaning bits to this list as they run out. I keep it on my iPhone notes, as it is quick and easy to grab. I also have a ‘to do this week’ list on there, which includes posting birthday cards, personal things I need to buy, errands I need to run etc. A ‘wish list’, this gives me something to work for and by the time it’s my birthday or Christmas, I’ve got plenty of ideas for when family ask. You might think my list includes designer handbags and shoes, but the first two most desired purchases on there at the moment is a cordless Dyson hoover and a ‘decent umbrella’… Oh, adult life.

One thing at a time!
I’m still working on this one. I’m terrible at delegating and always seem to overload myself with tasks because I like them done my way. More recently I've learnt to step back sometimes and just take on one task at a time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by a big list and not actually complete anything, as all you’ve done is ‘bits’ here and there. I’m going to do a separate blog post on my tips and tricks around the house (don’t get me started on storage and filing), but it is important where possible to delegate some of the workload to your house mate/partner or you will simply burn yourself out. Saying that, my Mum has always said to me “If you want something done, do it yourself!”. But really, do take support where you can.

Prioritise your day and plan your week!
On a Sunday, I make sure everything is ready for my week ahead. The house is clean, the washing is done, the beds are changed, uniforms are ready and my bag is packed. I get my diary out and plan out my week. Knowing what you’re having for dinner, what night you’re seeing a friend or going on a date night, what shifts you’re on, what events you have coming up, when the dog needs worming... It will keep your mind focused, save time deciding what to cook/do, you won’t double book and you’ll fit everything in. I always take a glance at the weeks ahead too, if someone has an upcoming birthday, I know to get a gift in time or an outfit for a special occasion. Whether you prefer digital or old school pen and paper, I couldn’t live without my diary. If you keep it up to date and pay attention to it, you can’t go too wrong. 

When I have my breakfast each morning, I make a note of everything I need to personally do that day. When I get to work, I then write a separate list. I then prioritise the list of what is most important and work my way through. Where possible, I try to get the most mundane or time consuming tasks done first. That way, you won’t put them off all day and once the worst is over and done with, your day will just flow and you’ll feel so much better for it. I get SO much satisfaction from ticking off a list! Gosh, am I really admitting all of this?!

De-clutter and be more mindful!
I can’t stand clutter and mess. I don’t get ‘hoarders’ and the thought of not knowing what I have or where it is makes me feel stressed. If you don’t use it or need it, why are you storing it in your home? Be mindful of new item’s you purchase. Do you really need another one of those? How much are you going to use it? Where are you going to actually wear that? Not only will you save money by having this mind set, but it’s satisfying just having what you love and need. Having a good clear out does wonders for my mind, whether it’s my purse, the cupboard under the stairs or my e-mail inbox. You'll stop losing things too!

Stop procrastinating!
I find it frustrating when people say “Well, I don’t have time to do that” whilst sat on their phone, mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. I love social media, but it’s so easy to get sucked into it and waste HOURS of your week being unproductive! No, you don’t need to take that Buzzfeed quiz to find out what Harry Potter character you are. If you are still struggling to ‘find the time’, get up earlier! You can avoid stress by planning ahead and not leaving everything last minute. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

To some, this may seem extreme (this is only the basics of what I do, yes I’m aware I’m a complete nerd) but the smallest changes could make a huge difference to your daily mind set and well–being. Remember to be realistic, don’t set yourself huge tasks to do in short time frames. Once you have noted your thoughts and to-do’s onto your phone or on paper, you can clear them from your busy mind and focus more on the moment. Most importantly, never forget to schedule in some time for YOU.
© Katie Louise

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