Skincare. The aisles and aisles of lotions, potions and serums that all claim to fix your problems. Skin type, problematic areas, sensitivity. The quest for good skin is a hard one to crack. After mixing up my skincare a few months ago and investing in some higher quality products my skin is looking better than ever. I wanted to wait a while before sharing it here with you but now I can honestly say I think I’ve found my PERFECT skincare routine.

Step 1: Makeup Removal

Over the years I’ve come to realise that part of my problem is that I used to try to make my skincare too complicated and time-consuming and therefore I could never stick to it. I don’t like using my more expensive cleansers to remove my makeup because for some reason it feels like a waste! Instead, I use one of two drugstore makeup removal options.

The Garnier Skin Micellar Cleansing Water or the Garnier Skin Naturals Cleansing Wipes.

Both of these methods are gentle ways of removing the bulk of my makeup and they are quick because no-rinsing is required. If I am coming in from a night out this is normally where my skincare stops but at least I am panda eye free in the morning. I’ve used various micellar waters and makeup wipes but these are the best compromise between performance and price in my opinion.

Step 2: Cleanse

My holy-grail cleanser for leaving my skin feeling squeaky-clean is Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. My only problem is I don’t really like the scent of the original version! Therefore I stock up on the limited edition scents when they release one that I like. So if you see a weirdo in a department stores sniffing Cleanse and Polish bottles it’s probably me…..

After washing my hands I spread one pump across my face and neck. I then use my Magnitone Cleansing Brush with a dampened Silk Bliss brush head to gently remove it. I find the combination of Cleanse and Polish with my Magnitone a match made in heaven! Then I splash cold water over my face and pat dry with a clean towel.

Step 3: Acid

Acid is definitely the step that makes the biggest difference to my skin. I have very dry skin with flaky patches and Pixi Glow Tonic was always the only product able to exfoliate my skin without using harsh physical exfoliators.

Recently I’ve been using Glossier Solution for this step of my routine and I have been so impressed with it. My skin looks visibly clearer and blemishes fade much faster than before. It’s the newest addition to this routine but after using it for the past month I can’t see myself ever giving it up!

I saturate a cotton pad with solution and sweep it across my freshly cleansed skin. I then leave Solution to work for a few minutes before continuing (I normally brush my teeth in this gap so I wait long enough). I know some people have found Solution has aggravated their skin so I’d definitely give it a miss if you have sensitive skin!

Step 4: Serum

After letting Solution do its thing I use a Serum, I use Super Bounce which is a Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Hyaluronic acid has been proven to help your skin retain moisture and therefore I find using this right before I moisturise is the best way to help my skin retain moisture. I use the pipette to apply drops of the serum to my forehead, cheeks and chin before smoothing it over my face.

Step 5: Moisturiser

Without skincare, my face quickly resembles the Sahara Desert because I have VERY dry skin! In the evenings I use my trusty Clinique Moisture Surge Intense which is an incredibly thick moisturiser perfect for dehydrated skin. It’s perfect to use in the evening as it does take a while to fully absorb. I also use By Terry Baume de Rose as an overnight lip mask in order to combat those dry flakes! In the morning I use the rich version of the Glossier Priming Moisturiser. I don’t like the scent of this at all but it does a great job of absorbing quickly and making my makeup apply seamlessly so I tolerate the smell!

Shop my skincare!

So that’s it for my five-step nightly skincare routine, if you were wondering in the morning I just use Cleanse and Polish (this time with a hot muslin cloth) and the Glossier moisturiser.

What are your skincare essentials and have you used any of the products I’ve mentioned here?

 

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I’m the eldest of six. I was raised by my Dad and out of all of my high school friends, I was the one most interested in the world of beauty. Turns out my Dad wasn’t that interested surprisingly so I turned to the online world, watching Youtube and reading blogs regularly since the age of 13.

In 2014, I was 18 years old and despite doing well acadmically I still felt like had no idea where I fitted in. How could I like school, science and fashion? People in my life regularly told me it was a big contradiciton. But then I stumbled across a video online that would change my life.

It was a favourites video, posted on May 2014 and I clicked on the thumbnail because it featured a pale pink Givenchy Antigona. It was “it bag” at the time so I wanted to see what the lady with the bright purple hair had to say about it. That woman was Victoria a.k.a. Inthefrow.

I immediately fell in love with her content, I followed her on Instagram, subscribed to her blog and have watched her youtube videos ever since. She was like the big sister I’d never had and she inspired me to experiment with fashion and find my own style.

I struggled with being away from home during university. During the Easter holidays, my anxiety reached an all-time low and I was really considering giving up. As usual, I retreated from everyone around me and went online. It was there, on Inthefrow that I found the post that saved me. It was titled “Never give up on what you love”. It was a post about hobbies that Victoria regretted giving up on and for me it was a wake-up call.

I was considering turning my back on something I loved because I was afraid of failure. There was a line in the post that said “I wake up every time with the biggest feeling of regret. I should never have given it up” and I realised that is exactly how I would feel if I left university. I’m sure when Victoria wrote that post she never imagined that it would affect anyone like that but a blog post about how she missed ballet and playing the guitar changed the way I saw the world.

It was Victoria who was one of my biggest inspirations in launching this site. She showed me that you could go to university, embrace academia and still love fashion. That intelligence and a love for designer handbags are NOT mutually exclusive and that if you work hard you can make your dreams come true.

I have always loved the editorial nature of Vic’s blog. From her layout to her imagery she always seems one step ahead of the trends and it’s evident that even today she is constantly striving to make her content better and better.

When I saw her shoot with Ted Baker and Olympus, done at NASA, I was amazed at how editorial her content had become. As a space-lover myself (I did Physics and Chemistry at University) it was amazing to see space and fashion meet!

Recently I went to the Lumiere light festival in London, I stood alone, surrounded by people in the middle of Piccadilly Circus watching the illuminations because they had pedestrianised it for the weekend. There on the screens was Victoria, in the latest L’Oreal advert.

It seems strange to say I was proud considering that Victoria and I have never met but as I stood there I genuinely shed a tear. For how far I’d come to be working in London, and traipsing across the city at night on the way to a brand event but also how far Victoria, the woman who had inspired me to begin blogging had come from doing her outfit shoots in her bedroom in Manchester.

Now, this post isn’t about proving that I’m an Inthefrow fangirl (although every time she likes my comments or replies to my tweet my inner eighteen year-old gets pretty excited). It’s about what I’ve learnt from Victoria.

Successful bloggers don’t get where they are by chance. They’ve worked hard, posted consistently and always thought about how they can improve. Victoria used to post daily on her blog and she still publishes great, unique content on inthefrow.com. She tackles real issues such as the environment, body confidence and feminism, alongside posts about beauty and fashion.

Her vlogs, which she began doing last May, have given me even more of an insight into how hard Victoria works! If you ever want proof that the life of a blogger isn’t all holidays and freebies you should watch them and realise HOW BUSY SHE IS. Her and Alex work incredibly hard to produce their content, and their recent Maldives vlog and latest blog post are what pushed me to write this today.

It was a post called “This is for the multi-faceted female”, it got me thinking about the kind of woman I am and how that is shaped by the people that have inspired me. The thing is Victoria isn’t just the kind of blogger I want to be: principled, true to her ethics and an utter professional. She’s also the kind of woman I want to be: protective of her family, in a relationship with a man who makes her laugh and a loyal friend.

My boyfriend, Tom, often jokes that I love Inthefrow more than him, and even he follows both Victoria and Alex on Instagram. She actually liked a couple of my Instagram photos the other day and I had a minor breakdown! The thing is no matter how big this blog becomes Victoria will always be one of my blogging idols because it wouldn’t exist without her.

Victoria, I can’t wait to see what you will do next. But I know whatever it is I’ll be there in the comments cheering you on.

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Valentine’s Day. The day when card companies around the world have convinced us to express our love for our better-halves. I’m sure some of you don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day and think it’s a “made-up” holiday, and to an extent, I agree! However, I do think that amongst our hectic lives it can be a good reminder to show the people you love how much you appreciate them!

So whether you are single wanting to treat yourself, newly in a relationship and panicking about how to not seem too keen or deeply in love and wanting to spoil your significant other rotten I have a suggestion for you!

The Makeup Addict

Does your partner love makeup? Treating your significant other to a luxury piece of makeup that they wouldn’t normally splurge on could be the perfect treat! I think Charlotte Tilbury products make perfect gifts especially Pillow Talk lipstick (if you want more suggestions I have a post here that might help!). Alternatively, Burberry and Guerlain have both got Valentine’s themed limited edition products that are gorgeous! I especially love the heart shaped Guerlain lipsticks. Finally if you want to splurge then a new set of makeup brushes would be a great option!

The Home-Bird

I love interiors and I know I’m not alone! Especially if you live with your significant other why not buy something to help make your house feel even more like home! From waffle knit blankets to a cute pair of big spoon, little spoon pillowcases there is a range of options at different price points. My interior favourite this year is the limited edition Rose Delight candle from Diptique which is a blend of their classic Roses scent and Turkish Delight, it honestly smells good enough to eat and the packaging is beautiful!

The Galentine

So you are alone on Valentine’s and planning on spending the night with your gals or having a good pamper sesh’. I don’t live near Tom so this is definitely what my February 14th will look like! A hot bubble bath, scented candle and a good read makes for a perfect night in my opinion! Oh and if you can’t buy yourself heart-shaped chocolates then you clearly don’t love yourself enough! I also love giving my skin a treat with a nourishing face mask and my beloved Magnitone!

The Perfume Lover

If you fancy treating your partner to a new scent, Valentine’s is the perfect excuse. A new perfume is definitely a very generous Valentine’s Day gift and I’m sure any girl would feel spoiled rotten! I’ve linked a few of my favourites to give you some ideas but I recommend going to smell some in person. I’m currently loving Miss Dior which I received last year for my birthday and the new Tiffany scent is top of my personal wishlist! Perfumes are a very personal thing so if you haven’t been together long it might be worth waiting until you know which type of scent your other half likes!

The Cliche Romantic

We all know a cliche romantic who wants to be wined and dined and then to head back to a room with a bed covered in rose petals! If that sounds like your partner you have lots of easy options, a nice box of chocolates, bunch of roses, cuddly toy or fancy meal. However, if you want something more personal Not-on-the-high-street is my go-to! From personalised love letters to date night vouchers they have something for everyone. You can even send roses via the post if you aren’t together on Valentine’s Day.

The Foodie

If your partner a big foodie? Why not opt for a nice bottle of Champagne and a luxury box of chocolates! It might be cliche but its certainly tasty! If you can’t do a meal out on Valentine’s Day itself (because Wednesday’s are a bit annoying) why not buy a meal experience voucher from somewhere like Prezzybox? That way when you do eat out it will be a “proper” delayed Valentines. Alternatively, if your partner isn’t a big drinker why not treat her to some nice tea or coffee? I’ve really been enjoying the T2 french earl grey and they have hundreds of teas from traditional loose leaf brews to fruit tisane infusions!

The New Girlfriend

So you’ve only just started dating and you don’t want to scare your new girlfriend with excessively romantic gifts and if you are totally honest with yourself you don’t know her well enough to get something too personal. What do you do? Well, I’ve been in this situation before and I think there are a few fail-safe options! Last year my boyfriend treated me to a spa-day which was a lovely thing to do together and not too specific. I think when you are newly dating opting for an experience-based gift such as theatre tickets, a day-out or maybe even just offering to cook dinner so you can spend some time getting to know each other better is a great option! You can even get a night’s Glamping trip for £50 which I think looks super fun!

My Valentine’s Day pick!

I hope this has given you some ideas! In my opinion, you don’t need to spend lots of money on presents to have a lovely Valentine’s day. A home-cooked meal and a night snuggled up on the sofa suits me fine! If you are interested in what I’d buy if I had a special woman in my life I love the personalised bracelets from Rachel and Joseph, they are handmade in the UK, not too expensive and BEAUTIFUL. I’m not actually going to get to see Tom on Valentine’s Day itself because we live about 2 hours apart, but I’ll see him at the weekend to celebrate instead!

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? Let me know in the comments below!

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We’ve all read stuffy reviews by theatre critics who supposedly know what they are talking about. In my experience reviews rarely align with my experience of the show as someone who has no formal theatre training but has seen and loved a lot of shows! So I thought I’d start giving you my relatable reviews from the perspective of someone who just buys a ticket, sits in the stalls and waits for the magic to begin.

The images in this post are not my own, and are taken from the press photos of Eugenius! Don’t take photos in the theatre enjoy the show!

Why did I see Eugenius?

I was convinced to watch Eugenius by my theatre-loving friend Hannah who I actually met watching Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. She’d heard good things and I love musicals so I was sold!

The Venue/ Price

Eugenius began it’s life with a one-off performance at the London Palladium, and is now running for six weeks in The Other Palace theatre (a five-minute walk from Victoria station). It’s a beautiful theatre with steeply banked rows meaning that everyone gets a great view. The roof was decked with fairy lights and the stage was well designed with multiple tiers and exits that were used with versatility throughout the show. Depending on where you were sat some audience members were in the spotlight (literally) before the show began with lights shining straight into their seats! Luckily Hannah and I were right in the middle so we had no problem!

The tickets range from £15 (for more restricted view seats) to £40 which for a show of this quality is pretty impressive. We paid £35 each for ours and were sat right in the middle in row D which gave us a central and intimate view of the stage. The band is on stage in Eugenius and therefore there is nothing separating the front row from the action. I’d recommend being a least a few rows back to ensure you can see everything happening onstage. The final show is March 3rd but there are still tickets remaining for most performances.

What is Eugenius about?

Without spoiling the story Eugenius is about a boy called Eugene who writes a comic book about a character called “Tough Man”. He dreams of making a living by sharing his story and making it into a movie and unsurprisingly as a comic book lover is labelled a geek at school. Along with his best friends Feris and Janey he tries to make his dreams come true!

This is a show where geeks get to rise up, be the hero and find a way to make a difference (which as a self-identifying geek definitely put a smile on my face). At heart, it is a hilariously cheesy musical with a LOT of pop culture references!

What did you think of the cast?

The cast undoubtedly MAKE this show. I can’t remember the last time I went to see a musical where I can honestly say there were no dud-performances or underdogs. Every single cast member shone, even the chorus have widely diverse roles during the course of the play and were all stand-out in their own ways.

Liam Forde, who is making his London debut in the lead role of Eugene carries the play with skill and his talent is evident. He was giving 100% whenever onstage even when the action wasn’t focussed on him. He also has to sing a wide range of songs in the play both in pitch and style and his voice is incredible.

Special mentions have to go to Melissa James, Scott Paige and Daniel Buckley who played Super Hot Lady, Theo and Feris respectively. They all had me rolling around in hysterics and Daniel’s first solo song introducing Feris as a character was one of my highlights of the show.

Also there is a robot voiced by MARK. HAMILL. Yes that Mark! I know, enough said, this show is COOL.

Honestly, I could go on and on talking about how I loved every member of this cast (shoutout to Ian Hughes who as Lord Hector managed to make a LOT of awkward direct audience eye contact without corpsing!) however for me there was one performance that left me truly breathless.

I’m a redhead, and a geek so it’s hardly any surprise that I instantly loved the role of Janey, played by Laura Baldwin. Laura honestly stole the show in my opinion. The repertoire of songs she has to sing is diverse and HARD, she managed to fill the music with genuine heartfelt emotion even during more comedic moments such as when a wind-blower is suddenly on stage. She had me captivated from her first scene to her very last, it was an inspirational performance. As a soprano myself, her high notes were INSANE. If you ever read this Laura. RESPECT. You slayed.

So what did you think?

Eugenius is the best original musical I’ve seen in years (and that’s saying something given my recent addiction to The Greatest Showman”) I would definitely go back to see it again and I am really hoping it gets a West End run because it’s truly incredible. I laughed, I cried and I gasped (and cringed at the innuendo at some points because I’m internally a teenage boy).

It’s energetic and by the end, I was on my feet dancing and singing to a song I’d never heard a few hours before along with the rest of the audience! Forget standing ovation it was a standing dance party. My only complaint? I ended up with a few funny looks on the tube as I sung to myself the entire way home!

Note: There were some VERY cheesy jokes in this show so it’s musical and cheesy comedy aren’t your thing this probably isn’t the show for you. But if you love a laugh and a boogie I’d definitely recommend seeing this before it’s gone! I can guarantee you’ll leave the theatre singing #GOEUGENIUS

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a brand-focussed post here on AWR so today I thought I’d kickstart a new series talking about some of my favourite makeup brands and how I came to love them: starting with my ultimate luxury favourite Charlotte Tilbury!My Charlotte Tilbury Addiction

How it all began: Pillow Talk

My relationship with Charlotte Tilbury really was a case of love at first sight, I mean just look at that rose-gold packaging COME ON! The first Charlotte Tilbury item I ever treated myself to was the cult-favourite Matte Revolution lipstick in Pillow Talk. Even now years after its launch this lipstick sells out on the Charlotte Tilbury website regularly!

The formula of the Matte Revolution is one of my favourites. I’m a matte lipstick kind of girl, I find liquid lipsticks too much hassle to apply and I don’t like lipsticks that transfer so my day-to-day choice is always matte.

I like the MAC Matte lipsticks but I find the formula drying if I wear them too regularly, I also use the Urban Decay Comfort Matte range which is much nicer to wear however the Charlotte Tilbury formula blows both of them out of the park in my opinion.

The lipsticks contain oils which nourish your lips and I find despite mine often resembling a desert I can wear Pillow Talk day after day without my lips getting too dry. The square tip is a dream for perfect lipstick application, especially while on-the-go! Two years after purchasing it I still wear Pillow Talk at least 4 days a week and its the only lipstick that is always in my handbag!

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Archive

From left to right: Miss Kensington, Between the Sheets and Confession

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Archive

Lipstick Collection

My Charlotte Tilbury collection has steadily grown (because let’s face it these beauties are NOT cheap at £24). As some of you might know I didn’t have the easiest January (you can read my update here if you are interested) so when payday rolled around I decided to treat myself to the Charlotte Tilbury Nude Pink Lip Archive.

The lip archives are part of Charlotte Tilbury’s gifting range and are exclusive to her website, they retail for £60 and include three of her best-selling limited edition lipsticks that are now only available in these kits. I opted for the nude pink lip-archive (shocking I know) which includes, Confession, Miss Kensington and Between the Sheets.

Two of the shades are Matte Revolution lipsticks: Miss Kensington is a pretty English-rose pink and is the pinkest Charlotte Tilbury shade in my collection so far. Between the Sheets is a vintage rose petal shade that is very “your-lips-but-better”.

The final shade is from the K.I.S.S.I.N.G line, Confession is a dusky-tawny nude shade flecked with gold particles. It’s supposedly inspired by the lips of supermodels so I can’t wait to see if it’s going to make me look like Gigi Hadid! The K.I.S.S.I.N.G line is more moisturising and gives your lips a sheen-like finish rather than being matte so I am interested to see how the formula and lasting-power compare to the Matte Revolution line.

Personally, I think the Lip Archives are a great way of trying multiple Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks, you save £12 compared to buying three shades individually and you can access colours that have been discontinued!

Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette

Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette Shades

My palette of dreams: Dolce Vita

When Charlotte Tilbury first launched, the thing that caught my eye more than the lipsticks, more than the rose-gold packaging, was the Dolce Vita palette. The Dolce Vita quad includes luxurious copper, bronze and champagne colours. I find that the colours are incredibly versatile and varying the intensity allows you to do anything from a simple daytime eye to a look fit for the fanciest occasion!

The quads retail for £39 which is definitely a luxury price-tag but I honestly use this palette more than my Naked 3 palette which is saying something! The shadows are velvety and have incredible staying power I would definitely like to try more Charlotte Tilbury shadows in the future! I’ve got my eye on the Instant Eye Palette!

My future wishlist

I always seem to have a growing Charlotte Tilbury wishlist! For me, products from Charlotte Tilbury are definitely “splurge” items but everything I have tried so far has exceeded my expectations and become one of my makeup staples. I would love to branch out and try some of their complexion products next.

I’ve heard amazing things about Wonder Glow and the Magic Cream and having tried samples of both that arrived with various Charlotte Tilbury Order I would love to get the full-sizes at some point.

I would also really like to try the Charlotte Tilbury Pressed powder and the beloved Filmstar Bronze and Glow so, for now, I’ll have to keep saving!

What’s your favourite Charlotte Tilbury product? And what is top of your Charlotte Tilbury wishlist?

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