Monday, 20 March 2017

The 2017 Spring Beauty Edit | Hope Freedom Love

For the last few weeks I’ve been testing, reviewing and trying out a load of products. What’s different to any other month I hear you ask? Well the sole purpose has been to create my official Spring Edit of 2017. I’ve tried a lot of products, some good, some bad, but these products are the ones I give my seal of approval. So if you’re looking to update your makeup bag, you can safely take out your shopping list and get stuck in. 

The perfect spring base 
In the springtime I’m all about achieving a dewy base, which just gives you a little bit of extra coverage! I have a few favourites for this time of year, which have been in my stash for quite some time! The KORRES Wild Rose CC Cream* (£26 here) is the first one I want to talk about, which is all about combining skincare benefits with makeup. The goal of the CC Cream is to give you a naturally radiant complexion, even skin tone and SPF protection – all in one handy step. You apply this to the skin and it corrects, smoothes and brightens the skin – which is just perfect for good skin days. The addition of SPF30 makes it a great option for holidays, as it gives you that extra bit of protection. 

My other favourite spring base is the Stila Aqua Glow Serum Foundation (£34.50 here), which you may remember me becoming obsessed with last year! This is a unique, water-based serum foundation, which makes it incredibly light on the skin. As you'd expect from a water-based foundation, this is incredibly moisturising on the skin. This is enhanced by the addition of Hyaluronic Acid in the formulation, giving a real boost of nourishment to the skin. It glides over both my dry cheeks and my oily t-zone, blending into both areas with ease.

Some of my essential products for keeping your base looking fresh

Helping that pretty dewy base last the distance 
One of my biggest struggles in springtime, is finding a base combination that lasts really well on the skin! To be frank – sweat is my enemy and if I’m not careful, I can quickly turn into pool of melted foundation. Which is why this year I’m trying to experiment with primers – which until now have not been part of my routine – shocking eh? 

This season power umbrella brand DECIEM, have released two new primers from The Ordinary. The first is a the High Spreadability Fluid Primer* (£5.50), which is a really interesting concept. It aims to increase the spreadability of foundations and base makeup, allowing you to achieve an even, natural looking complexion. The serum-like formula allows subsequent makeup products to glide freely over the skin’s newfound smooth surface. The second primer is the High-Adherence Silicone Primer* (£3.90) which has been designed to create an ultimate hold for foundation, creating a flattering blurring effect. The advanced adaptive silicones in the formulation help makeup to adhere to skin for longer, leaving the skin hydrated, but matte. 

Achieving that strobing glow on a budget
Of course it wouldn’t be spring (or any season for that matter) without a splatter of pretty highlighters to get obsessed with. I’m a highlighter obsessive all year round, but this season I’m impressed with the highlighters that are available at the lower end of the budget spectrum. Of course highlighter comes in all tones and shades, but the one that reoccurred the most this season was the pink toned highlighter, which was seen at Asli Polat and many others. 

One of my latest highlighter finds is the GOSH CCC Stick* (£9.99 here), in particular the Golden Highlighter. This is a fantastic pencil highlighter, which houses a cream formulation which you just draw onto your skin. The formulation is so creamy and so pigmented, so I just wash this onto my cheekbones, give it a quick blend and I’m good to go. Another new favourite of mine is the Sleek Strobing SoufflĂ©* (£6.99 here)! I love everything about this product, I love the whipped texture, I love the pigmentation and I love how it just melts into the skin, to leave you with that lovely strobing finish! These are both fantastic value for money, as they both come in at under a tenner and will work wonders! 

Highlighter heaven - some of my current favourites from Stila, KIKO, GOSH and Sleek Makeup

If you want something a little more extravagant, I highly recommend these beautiful new highlighters from Stila. The Heaven’s Hue Highlighters (£28 here) are unlike any highlighter I’d tried in the past. It’s incredibly lightweight which makes it perfect for springtime, leaving a subtle glow on the cheeks! The most interesting part is the unique texture: when you touch it in the pan it feels bouncy, but it’s not heavy, it’s ultra-fine and it’s perfect for adding radiance to your makeup look. 

If you’re more of a fan of liquid highlighters – you may want to check out the KIKO 20th Anniversary collection that launched just last week. The KIKO Fluid Highlighter* (£11.90 here) is a delicate, liquid highlighter, which has a silky texture. It’s made for using all over the face, to create a radiant looking complexion all over. 

Embraced frosted eyes and rock the sparkle eyeshadow
For somebody who is a complete sparkle-holic, I’m so excited that the glitter, frosted eye trend is joining us in spring. I certainly don’t need any excuse to rock a glitter eye, so seeing it on the catwalks (such as Shiatzy Chen) had me very excited! For this trend I had to mention the new Stila magnificent metals glitter & glow liquid eyeshadows, which are my new obsession. This innovative new formulation sees a glitter, suspended in a water base, in a handy tube with a doe foot applicator. You sweep the highly-pigmented formulation on to the eyelids – it then sets and it does not move. I mean, I’ve worked out in this formulation and it’s still been intact after 60 minutes of cardio! I was gifted one of the shades when they launched and I’ve subsequently bought four more shades, I’m obsessed! 

It's all about glitter on the eyes this springtime, try these beauties from Stila & Sigma

If you’re not one for liquid eyeshadows, this new release from Sigma Beauty might be the one for you! Their range of Loose Glitters and Shimmers* is going to have glitter obsessives feeling weak at the knees! The collection has been designed to be multipurpose, so you can use it on your face, on your eyes or mixed with lip gloss. One things for certain, these beauties will have you glowing all summer long! 

Keep your hands and feet in check
There’s no denying that your hands and feet get a bit neglected in the winter months, they take a real battering from the weather and often need a little bit of TLC. When it comes to getting your feet ready for sandals, I have one recommendation (which I’ve included now three years in a row! The Hand Chemistry Heel Hydration Complex* (£15 here) is unlike any foot cream I've used in the past. Instead of having a super thick, greasy formula, it has a lovely lightweight texture. The cream soaks straight into the skin, meaning you can slip your shoes straight on and walk out the door, but still makes a big impact with moisture.

My pedicure essentials

I’ve kept it really light on the nail polish in this year’s edit, but I wanted to give a quick special mention to MARK.* the new polish brand from AVON. The collection introduces a Gel Shine Nail Enamel, which forms a flexible, breathable film on the nail to lock in colour and shine. There are a whopping 35 different shades to choose from, which are split into four different collections. There is everything from nude hues, bold shades and soft pastels – all of which have the shine and pigment of a gel, but has the ease of a regular polish!

Get a step ahead of the sun with a natural (but fake) tan 
I’m personally always a bit scared of fake tan, but I know that so many of us rely on it to give us colour (and confidence). What I love about fake tan is that it gives us that lovely natural glow, without exposing ourselves to the harmful sun rays. British beauty brand Sunkissed have a whole host of different products to get you ready for summer. From the Body Primer (which primes the skin for tanning), to the Self-Tan Mousse, to Rapid Tan (which gives you colour in an instant), or my personal favourite – Gradual Tan. They literally have every formulation and every type of tan you could dream of! The best part is that it all retails for under £5 – genius! 

If you want something slightly more pricey, you can try the St Moritz Insta-Grad Tanning Mousse* (£7.99 here). This is the perfect product if you a little bit scared of tanning, as it’s a product that builds up over time. It’s created by in-house tanning experts to deliver a salon quality formulation, good ingredients and great results. As it builds up a natural glow, slowly over time – it’s ideal for beginners and those with fair skin. 

Protecting your skin from the sun
It’s important to remember that your skin always needs protection from the sun, whether you’re opting for a natural tan, jetting off on holiday or opting for a staycation. It’s important that you never underestimate the power of the sun, even here in the UK. I’m a huge fan of NIVEA’s range of sun protection, as I find that no matter what the occasion, or what mood I’m in, there’s something for me! They have the NIVEA SUN Protect & Moisture Sun Lotion* for your body, which has highly effective UVA/UVB filters for immediate protection. There’s the NIVEA SUN Protect & Bronze Face Sun Cream*, which is perfect as it is light and it’s not greasy – so it doesn’t block pores, but still offers immediate UVA/UVB protection. There’s even handy rollerballs (made for kids but I love them), lip balms and a whole range of after sun if the worst happens!

NIVEA have a great range of suncare to keep you protected

Switching between the ‘classic spring lip’ and something a little more statement
Of course, there is no denying that spring lips is all about pinks, nudes and corals. Something that is subtle, pretty and (normally) pink toned. However, whilst this trend was all over the catwalk, the red lip was infiltrating camp everywhere! It was seen at Giambatista Valli, Carolina Herrera and Trussardi – to name just a few. It’s really important to give you’re lips a little bit of TLC before applying any lipstick and I think the EOS Lip Balms* (£6.50 here) are perfect for this! They are packed with antioxidant-rich vitamin E, soothing shea butter and jojoba oil – which leave your lips hydrated, soft and smooth! Of course they arrive in the most stunning colours and flavours, which makes them totally Instagram worthy – swoon!

Try lip products from Sleek MakeUP, EOS and Revlon this springtime

The new Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lip Color* is a vibrant, high definition colour, with a stunning glossy finish! It’s by far one of my favourite lip products I’ve tried this season and I’m obsessed with it! The formula delivers everything you need from a lipstick – just with silkier, shinier results. The best bit is that the range of colours covers everything from pretty pinks, to statement red, so you can try both trends! 

If you want something more spring-like, you need to check out the new Matte Me Ultra Smooth Lip Creams* from Sleek Makeup. These have been inspired by spring pastel hues and I’m obsessed with them! The highly pigmented pastel shades are just beautiful – there is ‘Crushed Lavender’ which is a soft pastel lavender shade. The second shade is ‘French Fancy’ which is a classic mid-tone pink. The last shade is ‘Apricot Blooms’ which is just the perfect pastel peach, the perfect coral hue for this time of year! 

A little something for the cheeks
Springtime always makes me think of pretty pink and coral cheeks – which was all over the catwalk this season. I was a particularly big fan of the peach cheeks that were spotted on the Japser Coran catwalk. Blusher forms a bit important part of my routine all year round, but there is something special about springtime, which makes me reach for the more pinky hues. This season loads of brands are in on the act – there’s the GOSH Lumi Drops*, which have been expanded for springtime. Rose Blush is such a lovely flattering pop of pink! The liquid formulation means it’s perfect for highlighting or adding colour to the cheeks.

Use pretty pinks from KIKO, Paul & Joe and GOSH on the cheeks this springtime

There’s also the KIKO Natural Colour Blush* which arrives with the most stunning embossing across the top of the blusher – it really is picture perfect. The blush itself is made with moringa seed extract and is fragranced with cotton flowers. The blusher is delicately pigmented, creating a gentle wash of colour on the cheeks. Finally we have the Face & Eye Colour CS Collection* from Paul & Joe. Their multi-use palettes are decorated with a cat, surrounded by hearts and they each have three different shades to play with. 

If you prefer a cream blusher, the KIKO Cream Blush* from the 20th Anniversary Collection is for you! It comes in a huge class tub, which feels so sophisticated and the cream inside has an ultra-fine texture, with the silkiness of a mousse, but the freshness of a light emulsion. You really only need a little bit of this but it goes a long way. It’s made partly with water, which means it’s really fresh and comfortable on the skin.

Embrace the big brow
I don’t think anyone is surprised to see the big brow sticking around for yet another season. I’m actually thinking that it will never disappear (hurrah!), this trend was seen on all the catwalks this season, including John Galliano. The good news is that this trend is so easy to create, no matter what budget you’re working with! The new Revlon ColorStay Brow Pencil* is available in four shades and it mimics the teardrop pencil shape we’ve been seeing from all the high end brands. On one end of the pencil you have the spoolie and on the other side you have the angled tipped pencil. I like to top the pencil with a liquid setting product, my current favourite is the Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber. What is different about this one is the  ‘paddle brush’ applicator, which combs through every hair, for perfectly preened brows!

The big brow isn't going anywhere soon

Experience with fragrance and create your own scent
The Layering Lab Body Sprays* let you experiment with your fragrance on a budget! The range of fabulous scents allow you to take a bespoke approach to switching up your summer scent. There are six scents which you can use on their own, or mix several together to create a scent that invokes memories. The six scents include: Oriental (spice, berries, floral), Fresh (citrus, apple, peony), Floral (rose, raspberries, mask), Gourmand (vanilla, cassis, berries), Cacoon (jasmine, vanilla, musk) and Paradise (tangerine, green tea and vanilla). The amazing thing is that these beauties only cost £2.99 each, or you can pick up two for £3.60 until April 4th.  

The Layering Lab have a beautiful collection of scents

Give your skin a little bit of TLC 
If like me you really struggle with keeping your skin hydrated, you’ll have the Beauty Lift Range from DHC. This range from the Japanese brand is especially designed to hydrate, smooth and give skin an instant ‘lifted’ feel and appearance. I have two products from the collection, which are both beautiful! The Beauty Lift Lotion* is a soothing and hydrating toner and the Beauty Lift Essence* is a silky-soft serum. Both products feel lovely on the skin and they are perfect for this time of year! 

When we transition from winter to spring, our skin always needs a little bit of TLC (especially if you’ve been neglecting it a little bit throughout the winter). A great way to get it fighting fit is to treat it to regular face masks, which specifically target your areas of concern. The Caudalie Instant Detox Mask* is designed to purify stressed skin, treating all forms of radical damage. It’s a fantastic gel-cream formula, which is made from 99% natural ingredients – which eliminates accumulated toxins, leaving the refined and rested. You simply use the mask twice a week, leaving it on the skin for just a few minutes. Just let Grape Marc, Pink Clay, Coffee, Papaya Enzymes and a cocktail of essential oils do the hard work. 

All the products you need to give your skin a bit of TLC this springtime

Another lovely treatment is the lovely Fresh Start Mask from Skyn Iceland*. This is a two phase detoxing and brightening mask, which just feels like you have your very own, at-home spa. You start with Phase I, which is a mixture of blue clay and an oxygenating mud from the Ice Age. Phase II is formulated with a highly effective AHA acid gel complex (which includes 5 fruit and sugar acids) which deeply detoxifies and refines skin that’s been neglected! It’s perfect for this time of year as it the clay phase is refreshing and cooling on the skin! All you need to do is put aside 10 minutes every week and you can really reap the benefits of this lovely treatment. 

Another fantastic way to renew the skin is by using acids. I’ve been a long-time user of Glycolic Acid pads and I’m really excited that Superdrug have created an affordable version. The Naturally Radiant Glycolic Acid Daily Cleansing Pads* (£5.99 for 60) are formulated with Glycolic Acid, Alpha Hydroxy (AHA), a Fruit Acid blend and a dose of Aloe Vera Extract. Together, the ingredients help to improve skin’s clarity and the smoothness of the skin’s surface – I love this budget option – well done Superdrug!

I'd love to hear about your favourite Spring products in the comments below, I'm always looking for new things to try!
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