SWITCHIN’ SEASONS & SKINCARE: MY AUTUMN MUST HAVES (CHEAP & CRUELTY FREE)

As a sucker for summer, I’m sad to be saying farewell to August hello to Autumn.

However, even my sunshine loving self can admit there are benefits of frosty fall! Alongside fuzzy socks, pumpkin spice lattes, cozy jumpers and digging out your battered Modern Renaissance palette to create some autumnal looks, there’s also the mandatory September skincare switch-up!

Although flaky lips and dry skin doesn’t sound fun, it’s a great excuse to buy new products- and desperately trying to convince yourself, (and your bank account,) that it’s a good idea…

Seriously though, these products are worth the splurge, for skin that looks healthy, hydrated and sun kissed whatever the weather.

So without further ado, here are my cruelty free autumn skincare essentials:

  1. Facial Oil/Serum

Despite the dread you will feel in your heart when you see the price of these highly coveted facial oils, your skin will thank you! Not only this, but they last forever. Trust me- a little goes a long way, (you don’t want to deliberately make yourself look like my natural skin: a greasy oil slick.)

Now, I know a lot of you get posh when it comes to pores, however if you compare the ingredients in cheap facial oils, they almost always match that of higher end brands (such as Solar Oil.) Try some from B. Cosmetics or Superdrug’s own brand!  (This is not sponsored, but I’m down for that if you are Superdrug & B!…I wish)

However my favorite facial oil for dry skin days, or days when I just want a healthy and natural glow, I use Liz Earle’s Night Oil.

It works wonders for my acne prone, oily skin- and doesn’t cause me to break out, which is a small miracle!

2. A Hydrating Toner

This is an absolute essential! Although I use Lush’s Tea Tree Toner all year round (as it keeps my acne and naturally occurring oils under control,) it can be drying- which is not what you want in the colder season of Autumn.

Due to this, I double tone- using a few spritz’s of Tea Tree toner, alongside the- you guessed it- Mario Badescu Rosewater Spray. Despite it’s immense hype, it’s definitely not undeserved. This natural and hydrating toner is the product equivalent of a nice bath and a glass of wine for your skin, and the only hangover you get is amazingly glowing, healthy skin! I definitely recommend it, and for the price of £7 from Urban Outfitters, you really can’t go wrong.

In addition, my travel-sized spritz is a Liz Earle mini toner that I got with my, (amazing,) hot cloth cleanser- which I rave about Here. However, you will have to buy the Christmas set to get the mini size. Sorry guys!

3. A Hydrating Face Mask

If you know me, you know I can’t go without a face mask! As soon as I peel off this Purifying Superdrug Hydrating Cucumber Face Mask, I feel like I’m unveiling a new pampered princess.

Personally, I have every single one of these cheap but inexpensive masks and I love them! Unlike my deep sea mud mask, this one doesn’t suck everything out of your face (only the nasty stuff). I find my face feeling refreshed, cooled, clean and hydrated. The perfect combo for our icy UK weather.

Another favorite face mask of mine is REN’S Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask. Although it’s 10 times the price of the Superdrug mask, it is laced with fancy foreign ingredients, and gives your skin a sun-like glow, which is perfect for a season where there is none! It’s great for if, like me, you have acne scars- as it helps fade them with active ingredients. It smells lovely, although quote overpowering, and it isn’t explicitly stated as hydrating- it definitely isn’t drying. I definitely just shoved this in here as an excuse to rave about this product… But I had to! It truly is amazing. REN Skincare is so underrated.

Also seen below is the well-known REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial, which is basically a shot of goodness and hydration for your face (AKA the amazing miracle worker, Vitamin C!) It gives an amazing glow Check it out Here.

 

4. Body Oil & Lip Balm

Last but not least, Palmer’s Body Oil. Personally, I don’t suffer from dry skin. I just weirdly like having shiny legs, which is harder for me to achieve as I don’t shave them. However, it is originally designed to re-hydrate thirsty skin. It is an amazing formula of organically and ethically sourced oils such as coconut, monoi and almond oil. It is paraben free, with no phthalates, mineral oil, gluten, sulfates or dyes! It is a lovely family owned business too! It smells great, gives an amazing shine. I love this company, you really can’t go wrong with it!

Their body oil isn’t their only great product. They do an amazing Cocoa Butter Lip Balm which is replenishing, hydrating, and smells so good you could eat it!

That concludes today’s post, but before I go I want to say a huge sorry for not posting for a long while! I have had an unbelievable amount of school work and exams to do, but I am now ready for regular posting. I promise!

Thanks again for sticking with me,

Megan xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MY 2016 FAVOURITES (CRUELTY FREE)

It’s been a rollercoaster of a year. But, no matter what it threw at me, I always had these holy products by my side! So without further ado (in no particular order), I give to you my favourite cruelty free products of 2016.

#1 – Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bon’s Palette

I get excited just writing this, and I’ve had this product for about 8 months now. I honestly use it every day! It has all of the perfect shades- bright, dark, colourful, the perfect browns and an amazing highlight shade (satin sheets). It’s perfection, and the packaging is so so pretty! (Expect an in depth review or a top 10 favourite eyeshadow palettes review- which one do you guys want?) This is my favourite palette in the world!

(Ignore the broken lid.)

#2 – Nyx Liquid Suede in ‘Soft Spoken’ and Nyx Lip Lingerie in ‘Teddy’

Not a day goes by where I leave the house without something on my lips. This year, half of the time it was these. I am now so happy they sell nyx in Boots! I have higher end lipsticks such as chanel, nars, colourpop etc. but these were by far my favourite formulas and most of all my favourite colours! They compliment my darker skin perfectly.

#3 Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (Hot Cloth Cleanser).

I only bought this last month, but my acne prone skin has completely transformed. Not only this, but it also helps remove my makeup and as soon as I cleanse my skin is literally glowing! Not to mention my smooth skin. Although I believe this is great, I can’t give it all the credit- I have also been using my trusty REN clearcalm moisturiser and Lush tea tree toner (AND Indouble tone with the Liz Earle toner). 

#4 – Argan Oil

It may sound weird, but this oil is my saviour. As someone who uses heat (AKA slowly damages my hair so much it’s practically dead), this oil gives the illusion of health and moisturises my dry ends- whilst adding a glossy sheen and preventing the visibility of my brittle split ends. Thank you Aragan Oil- and here’s to another year of murdering my hair! 

#5 – Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

Yes, yes, I know you all saw this coming. Honestly, I don’t want to repeat myself but if you want to hear me ramble on about how truly amazing this product is then check out my “Top 5 Mascaras of 2016” post. This mascara is my saviour. Sweet little tube of joy.


#6 – Morphe Eyeshadow Palette in 35F

Okay- I promise this is the last one. But honestly, how could I not include this palette?! Creamy, pigmented, cruelty free and autumnal with a whole row of highlighter friendly shadows AND a whole row of mattes! Again, read my previous blog post for an in depth review + swatches that were very painful (my arm is still recovering from redness) but at the same time were worth it.

#7 – Pandora Bracelet and Bangle 

I have had my original pandora bracelet for years now (it’s still as beautiful as ever), and this year I decided to purchase the bangle version. I wear them both together on my wrist and I adore them! They’re so pretty and personal and I’ve never had an issue with the bracelets (excluding the leather ones- but that’s a story for another time). They may seem pricey, but it’s better to splurge now than spend a lifetime of wearing non-silver bracelets that turn your wrist green like a reincarnation of Shrek.

#8 – Calvin Klein Faux Fur Coat

(This is honestly at the very top of my list but since I am a beauty & makeup blogger I put beauty products first!)
This is a Christmas present from heaven! My parents treated me this year and surprised me with this faux fur coat from TK Max. I wish technology was advanced enough so that you could feel how soft this is through the screen, but for now you’ll just have to trust me when I say it’s 100% cloud! (If you were wondering why this looks uncannily familiar- yes, it is my background for all of my photographs. Yes, it is extremely risky incase of spilling makeup on it- but nothing can be worse than that time i got NYX bright red lipstick all over it! Again, a story for another time). 


#9 – Barry M Eyebrow Kit – Shape & Define
I definitely did not expect wonders when I picked this up, but oh boy was I wrong. It is just perfect for my brow colour and comes with wax and powder which is best mixed together. Perfect for natural looking brows. I have never purchased any other brow product since I bought this in 2015! It’s basically infinite, I could swear it grows back after you use it. That statement is plausible, since I have had it for two years… 

#10 – MUA Caramel Nougat Lip Liner & MUA Matte Lipstick in Fawn Fancy.
You can wear this creamy, pigmented and cruelty free lip liner alone or with its sister- MUA’s matte lipstick in Fawn Fancy (a perfect cruelty free dupe for MAC’s Velvet Teddy, by the way). Oh, and I forgot to mention they are both ONE POUND. Definitely try these out!

#11 – Books

This one is pretty self explanatory, but I just love books whether online (Wattpad) or physical. Some of my favourites this year have been The Great Gatsby, Girl on the Train, The Misfortunes of Lolita and The End of Summer. 
#12 – ELF Oil Absorbing Sheets
Look at an oil slick. Look at my skin. Look back at an oil slick. It will be extremely hard to tell the difference. I don’t know why I waited until 2015- but these small mattifying sheets are like squares of comfortability to me. I feel disgusting during the day at school, looking like i’ve just ran a marathon when in reality it’s my moody skin- (the oil is probably it crying for using too much makeup all the time), but these oil blotting sheets save me! I completely recommend these to fellow people in the oily skin club. 

#13 – Nail Varnishes
Last but not least, nail varnishes! There is rarely a time in my life where my nails aren’t spruced up with some kind of colour or glitter. Admittedly it’s usually red. But these are my favourite varnishes of 2016! Here’s to repurchasing them 283829 times due to my freakishly naturally long nails. (I’m not complaining!)

Thanks so much for reading if you made it this far- I know this is a very long one, I’m just a very verbose person! I am actually very proud of myself for posting three days in a row- hopefully it’ll last. 

Anyone please feel free to recommend your 2016 favourites; I am in desperate need of trying out new products for a new year. Happy new year everyone, I hope you had a wild night and your makeup was poppin’. 
Megan XO 

MORPHE 35F VS. LIME CRIME VENUS PALETTE – SWATCHES & REVIEW

 

Personally, red eyeshadows and palettes are my favourite. However, they always seem to be twice the price of normal palettes! I had been hunting for the 35f for over a year- and I was just about to splurge on one on depop for £40, until I randomly received the beauty bay email of their restock. 
For £21!
Suddenly, I felt like I was in some action movie- I jumped to my computer and snatched up that palette so fast! I have been absolutely in love with it ever since. 
Similarly, one of my best friends bought me the Venus palette by Lime Crime and I just about died on the spot (love you Emily!) 

So here you have it: Morphe 35F (fall in to frost) vs Lime Crime the Venus palette review and swatches.

The 35f palette is made up of 7 rich matte shades and 28 stunning metallic colours. On their website, Morphe described the palette as “A flawless collection of frosty colors with a shimmering finish paired with a hint of necessary neutrals that makes this palette a staple for all occasions.” I find their statement completely true, and their eyeshadows are so buttery and pigmented!
On the Lime Crime website, the Venus palette doesn’t have a description as it’s currently sold out (annoyingly).

First things first (try not to read that in an Iggy Azaelia voice) the packaging of the Venus palette is the most beautiful thing ever! I love and know my art, and that packaging is literally a masterpiece. My dressing table has never looked so pretty. Morphe? Basic. But nothing horrible (and it makes the most satisfying clicking noise when it shuts). The Venus palette also comes with a mirror, whereas a Morphe doesn’t- but for the cheap price of £21 I can’t complain. 
Survival of the swatches: Venus



(Disclaimer: as this palette was a gift I’m not 100% sure it’s genuine, but I have checked online and the packaging is definitely genuine with the cruelty free symbol- I’m just still unsure due to the quality of the shadows. I am completely against fake makeup but the packaging is really pretty lol)

These are the only shadows that swatch on my arm! Literally none of the others show up. Maybe it’s my skin tone or maybe the palette is just no good. Justifiably, it does show up a lot better on the eyes than it does on your arms- but it’s still nowhere near as pigmented as the Morphe 35F. The colours swatched are Muse and Venus- two very beautiful shadows and my personal favourites!
Survival of the swatches: 35F

Before we start, someone please pray for my arm. I swatched all of these shadows in the space of half an hour and by the end I am pretty I’d lost about 100 layers of skin. Because these shadows are so amazing, they are extremely hard to get off! Also, all of the row names are all made up by myself just for fun. 

Row 1: Holy Highlighters 


This row is not only amazing for eyeshadows- but are all perfect for highlighters, some for each skin tone. I love this row! It’s so amazingly pigmented as well. 

Row 2: Metal Metallics 


Deep, Dark, beautiful for a metallic smoky eye and some amazing golds!

Row 3: Perfect Pinks 


So so beautiful! I can’t even comprehend this row! That orange, pink, silver, olive green, purple- all so buttery and beautiful, it’s definitely my favourite.

Row 4: Gorgeous Green


Those two shades on the left and that light pink is just stunning! The deep green reminds me so much of Earl Grey from my Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons palette. 

Row 5: Mediocre Mattes


I do like these mattes, but they are a lot less pigmented than their shimmer shades. As you can see, the black isn’t showing up well and that was with about three swatch layers. They still work wonders on the eyes though.
In summary, I 100% think you should buy the 35f! Everything about it is so perfect; you really cant go wrong!

What’s your favourite eyeshadow palette at the moment?

Thank you for reading,
Megan XO

PURCHASE LINKS:

Buy the Morphe 35f palette in the UK here: https://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/morphe-35-colour-fall-into-frost-palette-35f.html

Buy the Morphe 35F palette in the US here: https://www.morphebrushes.com/products/35f

Buy the Lime Crime Venus palette in the US here: https://www.limecrime.com/eyes/eyeshadow-palettes/venus-the-grunge-palette
 

THE 5 BEST MASCARAS OF 2016

Mascara can be a mayhem- which brand should you buy?

Since I was 13 years old, I began to experiment with makeup. 

I used to scribble a thick, smudged line and call it “eyeliner”, then proceed to accentuate it with a layer of horribly unblended eyeshadow. To this day, people still remind me of it. But although this was one of my all time makeup lows… There was always a clear winner from these dreadful flashbacks. 

Mascara. 




No matter how many times I try to forget, it never works. The mental image of me carelessly applying countless coats of clumpy & crusty mascara that would transfer so badly it would reach my eyebrows will forever scar me. 
So, this is why it is so important for me to have the perfect mascara. Clump-free and durable. 
Trust me, I have gone through so many mascaras. And I’m gonna’ tell you all about the ones that made the cut! 
So here we have it- my top 5 mascaras of 2016 and why:


#1
Urban Decay – Perversion 

Rating: 9/10

Current Price: £17.50


This mascara is and always will be my holy grail. It is jet black, non-clumpy, and literally creates me new lashes out of thin air (I will never understand how this happens?!) It makes your eyelashes so long that when you look up they touch your eyebrows. Amazingly, it is like fake eyelashes- minus the glue and stress! The only reason it is 9/10 is that it does have some transfer and can be quite expensive, but the solution is simple: buy the waterproof version. Guys, I cannot recommend this product enough. It also goes perfectly with the perversion eyeliner. Basically, anything perversion equals perfection.

#2 

Benefit – They’re Real!

Rating: 8.5/10

Current Price: £19.50


One word: Natural. Although I am now cruelty free, this mascara was my go-to for two years straight, so it’s only fair to give it the shoutout it deserves. Every morning, I would grab this little tube of magic and apply two thin coats to my eyelashes. They would instantly look thicker, longer and fuller- but still completely natural and free of clumps. I would constantly be asked if I was wearing mascara because they looked so natural. The name really doesn’t lie! The only major downside to this mascara is it dried up and ran out quite quickly, which is why I found Urban Decay’s Perversion met my needs more, and I prefer dramatic lashes. This is still an amazing mascara though! 

#3

BareMinerals – Lash Domination.

Rating: 8.5/10 

Current Price: £19


This mascara is a hidden treasure to me! Obviously, as someone who is obsessed with the makeup world- I naturally thought I knew about every good product. However, in August 2016 I was trooping the duty free counters in Bristol air port, (disappointing lack of choice for cruelty free people by the way!) When I stumbled across this mascara. It adds so much length to my eyelashes; they’ve never been so well separated! I adore this product, but after I looked online I see there are some very mixed reviews about it- but it works great for me. The only issue is again the price, and like Benefit’s mascara, it has began to slowly dry. I still love it though!

#4

Beauty Without Cruelty – Full Volume Mascara

Rating: 8.5/10

Current Price: £11.99


When I was sent one of BWC’s gift boxes for a birthday present, I was skeptical as I hadn’t heard of the brand. But I was overjoyed when I tried this mascara! It is lightweight and natural looking, but adds so much length and volume to your lashes. It is amazingly priced- and completely cruelty free! The wand looks very interesting (I can’t understand it’s weird shape but it works well). I cannot recommend this mascara enough!

#5

Maybelline – Lash Sensational

Rating: 7.5/10 

Current Price: £7.99 


(Again- another non-cruelty free product, but I purchased before I turned CF)

Originally, I was so worried to try this mascara as Maybelline had let me down in the past as being too clumpy with bad wands. However, when I tried this product I was pleasantly surprised. It is still clumpy, but when carefully applied looks absolutely amazing! The wand is designed to perfectly fit the shape of your eyelashes, and I found helped curl them up. As I have other better mascaras, I use this one for my bottom lashes only due to the good wand shape which perfect and it makes your eyelashes look natural- leaving no under eye residue. It is amazingly affordable, but I personally wouldn’t use it for everyday mascara.

That pretty much sums everything up! Thank you so much for reading my first post. What’s your favourite mascara of 2016? I hope you all have a great New Year! 

XO, Megan 

(I am not trying to promote products tested on animals, they are simply included as I only recently turned cruelty free and am still transitioning all my products. When they run out, I will not be repurchasing.)