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Self Doubt and Crying in Work

Let’s be honest – it’s not the topic that I intended to start talking about in 2019 but if not now, then when?

This week started on a mediocre note to say the least (the joke’s on me because I kept saying to my friends in our WhatsApp group that 2019 is the one) but I would say that things improved and now that we’re into more or less Saturday, early morning – I am feeling okay again. (Note: I have hopes still that 2019 is still the one.)

I was reviewing my stats last night and found that last year, I wrote 38 posts in total. That’s not an awful lot because that doesn’t even average 1 post a week.

Having said that, we are onto something today because I have been meaning to talk about more serious topics on the blog for a while. Not only does the timing call for it, but the occasion too.

The period up until Christmas at work has been crazy and for me especially – my work/life balance started to deteriorate gradually until the balance was…non-existent. Sad – I know. But reflecting back, I didn’t realise that this was possibly leading me into a deep, dark place.

I started to stay a bit longer at work – even if it was just half an hour to get extra things done. I’d also go in earlier the next day. Whether or not I was actually more productive…I really couldn’t say. Part of me wants to say yes because I want to affirm that I spent the extra time wisely. But part of me also knows that my mind would just lag later in the day because of overworking myself and God knows there’s only so much your brain can take in a given time. I’m afraid my productivity did not increase but instead my self-doubt did.

If there’s one lesson to be learnt – it’s that your work/life balance is super important. I am still learning about this now and upon further reflection, I realised that this was something that I desperately needed to understand and change.

I am unashamed to say that I am a very hard working person but this can in the worse of times backfire. I end up overworking myself and not remembering to take breaks or worse yet – to have a social life. Even whilst studying at crucial stages in my life I was like this and from experience, I can definitely confirm it’s not great mentally. Sadly, you also forget about experience until you relive it again and that was Monday for me. It’s a vicious cycle.

I cried at some point in work. It’s a little embarrassing to say however I feel that it would be of comfort to a lot of women. I once read an article years ago about women crying in work and I want to say that it shouldn’t be an issue. We’re only human and if anything, I’m glad I cried because it got so much emotion out of me that would’ve otherwise kept hidden. I freed up a lot of constraints and stress that stopped me from being myself in order to be myself again.

It occurred to me that from overworking myself, I had managed to develop enough guilt and self-doubt inside me. Questions of if I was good enough started to appear in my mind. I would feel bad if I took a break and then I’d lag in work eventually anyway because I was tired from the overworking. My guilt would re-start from not having a productive day as a result. This was the deep, dark hole that I managed to create and have since, dug myself out of. I was not feeling good about myself but rest assured, everything has jump-started and I am starting to feel more like myself. I’m also learning to enjoy work a lot and not take everything so seriously.

Surprisingly, for a chilled-out person, I am learning to chill out more. I made myself a rule to not go into work earlier than I need to. I am also learning to be more forgiving to myself, to split my day into breaks and realise that I am good enough. Slowly but surely.

So there you have it – my week in a nutshell and a lesson in self-love, self-confidence and self-gratitude. I guess 2019 really is my year.

How has your week been?


Probably a different post than what you are used to reading on the blog! Have you ever cried in work? Are you hard on yourself? Let me know how you deal with your internal battles and come to the conclusion that you are indeed good enough down below! 👇👇👇

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My Current Everyday Skincare and Favourites

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

I am slowly getting back into the swing of things as far as blogging is concerned. There has been a lot that I’ve missed from writing and sharing my thoughts which I’m slowly rediscovering again and what better way to ease back into it than to show my current favourites?

I thought best to split it – one makeup version which you can catch up with here and one skincare version.

current-skincare-hoiyinli2
I hope this cover is okay? In truth, a lot of these products became empties – some of which I’ve disposed of so it wouldn’t have made sense to take a photo when products would be missing.

Featured in this post:

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam
Garnier Pure Active 3in1
Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask
Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask
Avene Thermal Spring Water
LUSH Tea Tree Water
The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%
Poppy Austin Vitamin C Anti-Aging Serum
Poppy Austin Hyaluronic Acid Restoration Serum
No7 Youthful Eye Serum
Embryolisse Smoothing Eye Contour Care
Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel
Superdrug Vitamin E Leave-On Moisture Mask

Double-Cleansing

You’ll see some skincare reappearances in this post. For instance, the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm is certainly no stranger in my stash. I want to say it’s my third, if not fourth re-purchase. I just adore using this on my skin as it takes my makeup off effortlessly and in addition, I get to massage my face. Best of all, no greasiness.

Next, I go in with either a cleanser or an exfoliator which I alternate between. I’ve been really enjoying the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam. I’m sure I’ve used this for quite some time now and it’s finally close to an end. It’s really soft and whilst there are small particles in the product, you can barely feel this on the skin. I really love this as an everyday cleanser – it is so creamy and moisturising that I think dry skin types will adore this product.

On a day when my skin is a bit rough and needs a deeper clean, I like to use the Garnier Pure Active 3in1 which I used to mention on my blog quite a bit. I love the minty smell and the range makes me very reminiscent of my adolescent skincare routine! I think I’m going to phase it out though once it’s done as I found something better to really polish my skin although this is still a great option for that. [See next]

Optional:

During one lunchtime at work, I decided to have a beauty shopping trip with just me, myself and I. I had been meaning to try the new (well, not so new now) Body Shop face masks but never got round to it. Then, I purchased two at once because I’m an all-or-nothing person. (I’m not even kidding.)

I got the Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask and the Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask. I adore them both! I find that they really polish away my dead skin cells without drying out my skin. If anything, they really soften my skin! The former gives a tingly sensation whilst the latter is more cooling on the skin. I try to use these at least once a week because I think it makes such a difference in brightening up my complexion.

Toning

I may have mentioned before that I never used to take toning seriously. I do it everyday now without fail. Ever since discovering this next product, I never not have it in my collection. It’s the Avene Thermal Spring Water. It probably is just water but I find it so cooling on the skin which is vital cos I usually get mild redness on my cheeks. It also doubles up as a setting spray/skin refresher!

My other option for toner is newly bought but already, I can see it as a staple. It’s the LUSH Tea Tree Water. Again, this is cooling on the skin but in a way that’s more anti-bacterial which makes it great for spots. I particularly love the spray mechanism on this because so many brands get it wrong. I love the mist effect this gives off so much that I’m tempted to keep the bottle once finished.

Serums, Treatments & Masking

For serums, there’s generally two that I use everyday but first, I’ll start off with the special products that I use at least once a week.

Of course, if I’ve exfoliated then I’ll leave this particular product for another day. Otherwise, now and again I like to go in with The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%*. I have been raving about this since before the brand boomed however due to the drama surrounding the brand these past couple of months, it has made me do some re-thinking where I no longer want to spend my money on the brand. On another note, this is a good product that promotes cell turnover and therefore brighter skin but I’m sure I am able to find other alternatives.

*The product has since been altered to The Ordinary Advanced Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion. Apologies but I’m not sure what the differences are between the old and new versions.

For my day-to-day serum step, I like to use a Vitamin C followed by a Hyaluronic Acid. To me, this is the easiest way because although I write a lot about skincare, I don’t always get complex serum formulas so I rather go by one main ingredient per bottle to layer up your own concoction. 

Serums can be quite pricey though so I took it to Amazon to purchase some affordable ones.

I go in first with the Poppy Austin Vitamin C Anti-Aging Serum. I wait for that to sink in a bit and then go in with the Poppy Austin Hyaluronic Acid Restoration Serum after. Both products sink in easily and does not make my skin irritable. It also helps to revive my skin pre-moisturiser step which is handy during the winter months when you and your skin are feeling a bit dull.

Before I forget – these serums are in fantastic sizes of 60ml which is double the size of what you would normally get on the market which is a huge selling point for me. I’ve already repurchased the Hyaluronic Acid (and will try a new Vitamin C one to compare).

Eyecare

It wouldn’t surprise me if I have said this before but eyecare is a tricky business. If there is one thing to be sure about though, it’s that no eye cream “does it all”. Once you realise that, it makes eye care shopping a lot easier in my opinion because you stop stressing and we all know stressing contributes to ageing.

I haven’t got it with me to show today as I have long finished a tube, but I do recommend the No7 Youthful Eye Serum which I have featured on the blog on a few occasions. I just find that this is very easy to use and having this extra layer underneath an eye cream promotes each other to work more effectively. Talking about it has just reminded me that I need to repurchase this soon!

In terms of actual eye cream, I am currently using the Embryolisse Smoothing Eye Contour Care. Truthfully, I never hear anyone talk about this. I bought it during one of my Boots trip in the summer on a whim. I do like it although it’s not my most favourite and now looking back, it’s surprising to think I have spent £25 on this small little thing! I do like the product for its simplicity but I do think that it talks a bit big in aiming to target wrinkles, circles and bags. I would say it’s good for overall basic eye care but if you are after something more heavy duty or with extra benefits, this is not the one. Overall, a bit expensive for what it really is but not a bad product.

Moisturising

This is going to be super easy.

For most of the year, my moisturising step has solely been taken over by one brand: Clinique.

As shown in my Hong Kong beauty haul, I purchased the jumbo size of the Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel which I have managed to use just over half of! I use this day and night without fail, two pumps per application for my whole face and perhaps even neck.

Again, it’s a simple product but it gets the job done – no thrills. I can’t recount how many times I have purchased this but it’s one of my first higher-end purchases from when I was a teen so it’s a nostalgic product.

Optional:

I have one more product to show you if you want to take moisturising a bit further.

On days when I feel that my skin needs a bit more moisture but I’m too lazy to pack on a sheet mask, I like to use the Superdrug Vitamin E Leave-On Moisture Mask

First of all, if you are looking for budget skincare, I thoroughly recommend the hot cloth cleanser, moisturiser and this mask from the line. The eye cream is also good. Furthermore, the entire range smells amazing and is one of my favourite skincare scents ever.

Anyways – back to main topic:

This leave-on mask has a sorbet-like texture which I find quite amusing and fun to use. Once rubbed over the skin, it’s like a thin layer of water-gel but it’s neither sticky nor leaves a film. It absorbs into the skin easily and although it’s a thin layer, I find that it helps with adding an extra moisturising step into my routine without the extra weight. 


This routine is not so current anymore as I drafted this over a month ago but have only gotten to posting it now. Some products were on the brink of being finished and have therefore been replaced. Nevertheless, there are some gems that I discovered in 2018 which I am bringing into 2019 with me.

As some of you may note, I haven’t been very consistent in blogging in the last 6 months but for whatever reason, my stats shot up and have never looked better! So for that, I want to take this moment to say thank you. I have yet to plan my content for the year however I cannot wait to get re-acquainted with you properly again!

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What I Bought on Black Friday – A TK Maxx Haul

I am feeling like a hypocrite because I remember a couple of posts back, I said that I was not one to write haul posts and now for some reason, I really want to share this haul post and more. 😆

Addictive habit I tell you!

I have started to shop a lot more often than I ever have in my entire life since getting a new job. I really don’t know what it is. The need for new clothes comes every month and it’s amazing to return back to the feeling of “I have nothing to wear” like really?

Anyways, today we are not talking about clothes – which by the way, I still need to get on topic about that. Today we are talking about what I bought last Friday at TK Maxx – my version of a Black Friday sale which is really just every time I shop at that store. 😂

Featured in this post:

TI Style 2 in 1 Face Brush
Sukin Love Your Skin Sensitive Set
Bdellium Tools Green Bambu Complete 15pc. Brush Set
Cala Revitalizing Collagen Essence Mask (5pc)
The Creme Shop Kale Face Mask (5 pc)
Mitomo Soy Bean Essence Mask (6 pc)

I have never tried a facial cleansing brush before so I was curious to try one out when I saw the TI Style 2 in 1 Face Brush. I actually own a Clarisonic Mia 2 but I seldom use that (I really ought to). I have used konjac sponges before in the past and whilst I do like them, I think they feel more natural on my body rather than on my face – it just seems a bit fiddly for the face is all.

The bristles on this is ridiculously soft. I’ve only used it twice so far but I just find that it helps with getting the most out of your cleanser when you want to exfoliate but not necessarily with an exfoliating product if that makes sense?

I particularly concentrate this on areas which get clogged easily – namely my nose, inner cheeks and the area between my brows. I’ll need to give it time to let you know what I really think about this but so far upon first impressions, I’m into the idea.

Next up is the Sukin Love Your Skin Sensitive Set which was one of the first products I noticed when I stepped into TK Maxx that evening after work. After seeing it, I just knew I had to have it because I’ve been meaning to try the brand for months but have never gotten round to it so this was my best chance to.

I had seen the Sukin range in Boots a few months prior which peaked my interest a little but it just wasn’t the right time to try anything new. (I go through waves with my skincare – either constant or I’ll change it completely – anyone else?) Moreover, it was the idea of trying an Australian brand that made me more curious.

The set features a cleansing gel, day moisturiser and night cream. I have only tried the moisturisers briefly so far and I’m feeling good about both. I particularly enjoy how the first main ingredient (other than water) is aloe vera which interests me even more because I love that stuff. More opinions to come so watch this space. 😊

My blogger friend Stashy will be proud of my only makeup-related purchase as she had recommended me this particular brand for brushes however at the time, I had stated that it wasn’t (and technically still isn’t) available in the UK unless I online shop. I came across the Bdellium Tools Green Bambu Complete 15pc. Brush Set and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. 

Let me tell you: I have bought a lot of brushes this year that I told myself I wouldn’t buy anymore as I have a good collection now but I just couldn’t help myself!

I haven’t had a chance to try any of the brushes yet as I have been going makeup-free into work recently (the early dark mornings are killing me) but I will definitely feedback in a few months on what I think!

If there is one thing that has peaked my interest in particular when it comes to TK Maxx, it’s the availability of Asian skincare.

My last 3 hauls are all sheet masks and I am just so unapologetic whenever I buy these because there is usually limited stock in TK Maxx but when it’s available, it’s a damn gem. My local TK Maxx has been a bit dry post-summer with nothing exciting in the skincare section but recently – most likely due to Christmas coming up soon, they have revamped every section and things are good again.

First up is the Cala Revitalizing Collagen Essence Mask (5pc). I have never heard of this brand before so I can only assume it’s an indie Korean beauty brand at which point, I have nothing to go by. I have been trying a lot of sheet masks lately though so I’m quite keen to do some follow-up reviews compiled into a post in the future.

There’s not much description on the mask except to say that it hydrates and strengthens skin elasticity which I feel is what every other sheet mask states. Only a trial will tell so…more to come?

The Creme Shop on the other hand is one brand that I have definitely tried and that my local TK Maxx seem to like stocking products of. I have previously tried 2 different sheet masks from them which side note: have become my favourite sheet masks to date. I saw the The Creme Shop Kale Face Mask (5 pc) and thought why not? 

The mask claims to ‘eliminate bloating and puffiness while correcting any redness and flakiness’. Totally down for that. To be honest, the idea of it being kale completely sold me even though I don’t eat kale. How weird.

Down to our last product, we have the Mitomo Soy Bean Essence Mask (6 pc). Fun fact: I didn’t realise until after that I had viewed this mask before on Amazon a week prior. 

Where K-beauty has hit the stores internationally this year both online and offline, J-beauty seems to be making some sort of a mark too because I was definitely surprised to see a Japanese beauty product in-store. 

I love soy products – both in beauty and in food although I have never tried a soy sheet mask. I am unsure as to whether I have tried a Japanese sheet mask either – most likely not.

The mask advises of soy being an antioxidant that helps fight against sun damage, environmental damage whilst reducing irritation and building collagen so I’ll be using this for when my skin is feeling a bit sensitive.

My total bill came up to £62.99 which was a lot less than I had anticipated. In my head, I was thinking around the £80 mark so to me, this was one of my best bargain hauls of the year. 

I can’t say how much money I saved exactly but it’s definitely impressive.


And you? What did you buy on the week of Black Friday/Cyber Monday?

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The Fitness YouTubers I like to Follow

Welcome back again!

Today, I thought I’d write about my favourite fitness influencers that I like to follow on YouTube. I’ve been quite good lately in getting some exercise done on a weekly basis. I feel like I’ve finally found my “balance” in this area whereas years ago, I would’ve struggled or just not have bothered with exercise because I thought I wasn’t good at it. Now it’s become one of my favourite hobbies.

To give you a bit of background, I was technically bad at sport in high school. Thinking back, part of it stemmed from truly believing that I was bad at team sport and therefore I could not contribute much. I let that beat my confidence.

But that’s the thing.

Good exercise starts with positive thinking and this is the part which I needed to change the most in order to grow. I needed to start believing that actually, I was not as bad at fitness as I had once thought. I was actually quite decent I might add. 

At that time in my life, I discovered Blogilates so this is the fitness youtuber I will start with for today’s post. Enjoy!

Blogilates

Admittedly, I don’t follow her as much now but there’s no denying that she’s still a driving force in the fitness and social media communities as both an entrepreneur and influencer.

Founded by Cassey Ho, Blogilates started as a channel to share the world of pilates but in a fun and engaging way. At that time (around 2008/09), I was still in college (senior year in high school if you’re American) and her platform was truly great because it attracted young women to workout in a way that wasn’t boring, in a format that meant it was easy access from home – no need to go to the gym and definitely no outdated 80s Aerobics moves. The landscape for both social media and fitness was changing and for the first time, I felt like I could actually workout.

I tried new moves, moving and working my body (even if just leisurely) in ways I never knew. I found an alternative answer to running (which I hated and still hate) and to the gym (which I didn’t hate as much but didn’t enjoy it either). 

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training, which we’ll get to later) wasn’t even trendy then but the idea of doing a set of moves for a minute each to complete a 10 minute workout was genius. Furthermore, her workouts are really enjoyable which I think is so important when getting into fitness. There are hundreds and thousands of ways to workout but the best one will be the one you enjoy the most and Blogilates made me see that.

Here’s just some of my favourite workouts from Cassey:

Whitney Simmons

If you know of Gymshark, then you must know of Whitney Simmons.

Whitney Simmons is one of many sponsored athletes, as part of the Gymshark branding that’s been all over Instagram. If you somewhat follow fitness or have liked a fitness photo yet have not come across Gymshark then you must be living underneath a rock because the advertising on social media has been heavy…but smart.

One thing I will note is that all the Gymshark athletes have a very specific body which for most of us, is unattainable unless we workout as much as them. The guys have really muscular tops and skinny bottoms whilst the girls have peachy butts and a skinny waist. 

Whilst I’m not trying to gain the above body-specific, I think it’s nice to follow someone who isn’t afraid to lift heavy just to mix things up and gain some ideas when it comes to weights especially for me as I have weak arms.

 Above the fitness side of things though, I just really enjoy Whitney’s personality. She is all things quirky and weird which I find super relatable.

Here’s a few of her videos I enjoy:

Chloe Ting

Chloe Ting is another Gymshark sponsored athlete. I probably follow her workouts a bit more than Whitney’s as it’s a little less weight-intensive and involves more HIIT in general. Again, it’s useful to follow her as I can get some inspiration for more intense workouts when I have more energy for it.

Chloe is petite (5’1) and one of the main reasons I follow her is because she puts forward a really positive body image for Asian girls. I say this because in Asia, it’s very easy to be considered fat – I for one have been considered fat for years by my relatives in Hong Kong! (I’ve kinda accepted I won’t meet their slim ‘ideal’ but I’m quite happy with my body to be honest…it does great things. 🙂) 

Although based in Australia, I think it’s amazing to show how a petite person like her can be strong in lifting weights and unafraid to grow a booty which honestly, I don’t think is a thing in Asia for females. Also – can we just appreciate how amazing she looks? She is apparently 30+ (32 I think) but looks barely 20! 🤩

Check out some of my favourite videos of her:

Emi Wong

Onto my last fitness inspiration pick!

Emi Wong is a Hong Kong based YouTuber and again, paving the way for Asian girls to get fit and not be afraid to eat. She vlogs too and shows her way of eating clean whilst still sticking to her favourite Asian meals which is applaudable since Hong Kong is amazing for food choice from the moment you step outside. 

If I had to pick my body-ideal, it would probably be Emi’s because it’s slim and fit whereas a body like Whitney’s or Chloe’s is very specific and sometimes it’s actually harder to gain the weight in the area you want. In addition, you need to take into consideration your proportions and whether a gain would look good on you. Personally, I don’t care for peachy butts that much but everyone’s body preference is a bit different and that’s okay.

I have been doing a lot of Emi’s workouts lately and they are so enjoyable! She is a very real person – motivating like a friend but not so condescending that you want her to shut up. She doesn’t talk too much either which I think can be a problem for certain fitness youtubers. I have done a selection of her workouts now and have liked all of them. What’s even more motivating is that Emi has had her battle with bulimia before so she really comes from a place of heart, knowing how hard it can be to battle fitness.

The videos I particularly like and have on repeat weekly are:


Well, that about covers all the fitness youtubers I am currently following. Do you follow any of them? Or perhaps you have discovered someone new? Let me know what you think either way! Or if you have anyone different, don’t hesitate to give them a mention in the comments below! 😃⬇️⬇️⬇️

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My Current Everyday Makeup and Favourites

It’s been a time since I’ve written anything makeup-related so I thought I’d kick things off again by letting you in on my current everyday makeup routine. I was going to call it a makeup tutorial but I didn’t want to seem like some self-defined high-up person who could teach about makeup. I’m just a girl who somehow got into it and figured what’s best for me and what’s not, y’know? Certainly, there are a lot of makeup favourites in this routine which I’ve stuck to everyday – or at least every time I do my makeup. It’s perfect for work but also dressy enough to go out – a little something but not overly done. I actually haven’t gotten sick of the routine and since a job change, I realise how routine is so key.

I’d like it if you could reply with your current makeup routine and favourites. In exchange, here’s mine! It would also benefit you greatly if you grabbed a hot beverage as this is a long post…

everyday_makeup_hoiyinli-1

Featured in this post:

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation
Etude House Sunprise
Maybelline Age Rewind
Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Pact
Sleek Makeup Face Form
Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base
Max Factor’s Masterpiece Max Mascara
NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Black
NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Ruffle Trim
Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder
NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray

Base Makeup

everyday_makeupbase-hoiyinli

My favourite part of makeup-applying is probably anything and everything base-related. If you have been reading my blog for some time, you’ll know that I’m super into skincare so anything that’s going to make my skin look even healthier and naturally glowy is a plus in my books. I recently shared on my Instagram, what I use when I want a “glow-up” and this makeup look is exactly that – but in the most natural way possible.

I am personally not into heavy-coverage foundation. I have never liked the way it looks on my skin – it just doesn’t sit right and even worse if it’s a matte foundation. My pores usually look more pronounced if it’s super matte and I hate that. Instead, I opt for demi-matte, natural finish foundations although I am careful with this too as oil control is considerably important for me.

Without a doubt, my go-to is the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation. (I’m in shade 52 Vanilla.) But before we tap into that, I always prepare my skin with sunscreen first before makeup. I am currently using the Etude House Sunprise and I have to say – I’m not mad. It’s easy to blend into the skin, is great to layer with and in particular, I love the minty scent which wakes my skin up in the morning!

I discovered the foundation about 3 years ago and I’d like to say I’m onto my 3rd bottle. I’m due to buy a backup even though I just opened this one because my fear is that this will one day discontinue! I dot this onto my face evenly and with my new favourite brush, the BH Cosmetics 123, I blend blend blend.

Moving onto concealer, it’s strictly just one I stick to and it’s the Maybelline Age Rewind. My shade is in Light. I adore this but man, it was annoying to repurchase because it took a couple of shopping trips as on most occasions it was sold-out.

I like to multi-task with this and use it as a highlight to my nose bridge, forehead and chin too as well as for under-eye brightening. I just find that it helps add some dimension, some glow whilst still looking natural. Best of all, it doesn’t crease on me. As an FYI, I always use a beauty blender during this step. I generally don’t use brushes when applying concealer – it’s just not my preference.

Now this next step is completely optional but I find that with this concealer, I like to set it. I use the Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Pact which I’ve long hit pan on and should probably re-purchase. I apply this with either the Real Techniques Contour Brush or the BH Cosmetics 125.

Adding Colour to the Face

I’m a bit of a blush fiend but recently I’ve learnt how to apply blush in conjunction with contour/bronzer and highlight to make the whole look come together. It’s no secret that I enjoy using the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette but lately, I’ve discovered a much more affordable option which I enjoy using just as much. It’s the Sleek Makeup Face Form which features a contour, a highlight and a blush in a compact that’s perfect for travel.

IMG_0750

Excuse my finger swipe as evidenced on the contour shade… (I did some swatches which you’ll see towards the end of this post.) Isn’t this palette super pretty though?

To be honest, I use the contour more as a bronzer and apply it in a 3-shape motion on both sides of my face. It helps warm my face up without making it looking muddy or patchy…the lightest gradient that you can imagine. This is personal preference as I don’t think actual contour would look good on my face – it would be too harsh. But do what you must. This is just my style.

Next, I apply the blush. The blush is pigmented so all you want to do is tap and that’s both your cheeks covered! I use a particularly light-hand during this step because you want a gradual build that blends with the colour you just added rather than going all in and realising that you’ve applied too much. I tap and blend, tap and blend. Honestly, the two colours when used together on the face is super pretty; and you’ll see that everything starts coming to life. I admit that at first, this palette is daunting when you first access it but honestly, it gives such a healthy and energised look to the skin! Not clownish or overly done. Unless of course, you apply too much. Remember: less is more.

Lastly, we have the highlight. I don’t always do this step but I’m definitely warming more to highlight now although still not as crazy about it compared to the majority! I like the highlight in this because it’s pretty and it’s noticeable but it’s not that out there which I particularly like.

Eyes & Lips

Even if the rest of my routine differs, the products I use for my eyes and lips are generally the same. I won’t be applying any eyeshadow because I never do on a day-to-day basis however I’ve been experimenting behind-the-scenes and hope to bring some looks to the table! Instead, I’ll show you my secret in getting pretty lashes if like me, you have short, straight and flat lashes.

It’s probably my biggest beauty discovery of 2018 and honestly after trying it, it changed everything for me. With the exception of Japanese mascaras, I found it difficult to find a drugstore mascara that held the curl well and made my lashes look good. That’s until I discovered mascara primer. The one I’ve been using lately is the Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base. It isn’t exactly cheap but I don’t regret the purchase at all. I rather like the wand because it has a clean aesthetic that brushes my lashes from tip and toe. It provides a strong base after I’ve curled my lashes and that’s really what you want.

I then dress my lashes in Max Factor’s Masterpiece Max Mascara. This isn’t my favourite mascara however paired with the primer, I get my favourite set of lashes that have some natural drama to them.

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Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base in a super sleek and minimalistic tube. This is probably one of my most favourite mascara designs inside and out – love the brush!

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Max Factor’s Masterpiece Max Mascara in a slightly thicker tube. The mascara has a waxy scent which I sometimes like, sometimes don’t. What I love the most is the brush head as it’s small enough to access the whole lash line.

For brows, I have been using the NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Black. Funny story – I really didn’t like this when I first got it but I think I just had a bad day where maybe I accidentally rubbed it off by mistake. It’s become one of my brow staples now. The colour is perfect – it’s dark enough to blend with my naturally black brows but not so dark that it creates this harsh brow. I also love the tip because it means you can be precise – I never make mistakes with this! [See above picture showcasing the Sleek palette to see the tip of the brow pencil.]

When it comes to lips, my go-to shade is a grapefruit pink because unfortunately, my skin tone doesn’t suit every lip product that’s out there. Most recently, I’ve been into using the NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Ruffle Trim though and it is so autumnal. I generally struggle to find a nude that looks right on me but this one’s perfect as it has enough pink in it to still satisfy my need for colour.

Finishing Touches

As we’re into the colder months now, I find that I don’t need to powder as often as I do in the hotter months and it is a blessing! I love applying powder though because it is like therapy and I just love how my powder brush feels on my skin. Also – do you find that sometimes your makeup looks better a few hours after because it’s melded with your skin?

My favourite powder has been the Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder. It’s really soft and helps take away any shine you have whilst still leaving a natural glow to your face. I can’t seem to find it in-store though so I hope it’s not discontinued.

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I’m almost done with this bottle. I’ve recently purchased the Matte finish version which was sold out last time which led me to purchase this Dewy version. I’ll be looking to compare the two although part of me feels that they wouldn’t differ that much.

Down to the last product, we have the newest addition to my makeup regardless of what I wear: a setting spray. I’m in an office 8 hours a day, sometimes a little more if I’m doing overtime so it’s vital that my makeup lasts. The NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray has been of great help in prolonging the freshness of my makeup and who doesn’t like a spritz anyway?

And that’s it – my entire makeup look that I’ve been wearing everyday to work or just in general. I even prepared some swatches for your reference:

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In order of applying, L-R: Etude House Sunprise, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation in 52 Vanilla, Maybelline Age Rewind in Light, Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Pact, Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder in 52 Vanilla, Sleek Face Form Palette in Light (Contour, Highlight, Blush), NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Ruffle Trim

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This post was really fun to write! I hope to write another make-up related post before the year is up. Is there anything else that you’d like to see? My local John Lewis has recently added a Becca counter and my local Boots has added a Wet ‘n’ Wild and an E.L.F! 😮 I don’t know where to start so any pointers will be helpful!

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