E.l.f. Cosmetics Is Coming To Superdrug - Here's What You Need To Buy

The other week, I was intrigued when I received an invitation to a launch event for e.l.f. Cosmetics (short for eyes, lips, face). Although I'd never tried anything from the brand before, the name was very familiar to me. There seemed to be lots of hype around it a few years ago, but more recently, not a word. I soon learned that there was a good reason for this. E.l.f. makeup used to be available in the UK (to buy online) but then mysteriously disappeared. Now, however, it's back, which is most certainly good news! It's already available online at Superdrug, and you'll be able to check it out in store from 1st June. 

E.l.f. Cosmetics 1

E.l.f.'s mission is to provide luxurious beauty at affordable prices, and the most expensive product you'll be able to buy at Superdrug will be the Precision Multi Blender Massager Brush at a very reasonable £14.50. Sounds good, no?! I had the opportunity to look at quite a few products at the event, and received a very generous goodie bag at the end of it, the contents of which I didn't hesitate to try out. As a result, I've come up with three separate lists - my must-have products, things you don't need but might like, and finally, a wishlist of interesting products that have caught my attention and which I would very much like to own!

Must-Have Products

E.l.f. Cosmetics 2 - Natural Glow Face Palette

E.l.f. Cosmetics 3 - Natural Glow Face Palette

1. Natural Glow Face Palette* - I absolutely love this. Not only does it come in this beautiful mirrored packaging, which would give any high end equivalent a run for its money, but the quality of the powders themselves is really lovely. While I found that none of the products swatched particularly well, it was a different story when it came to applying them to my face. This palette contains a bronzer, highlight and two blushes, all of which are designed to give a very natural, flawless glow. I've been wearing the bronzer and peach toned blush every day since I got this and I'm loving the way it looks. If you're only going to get one thing from e.l.f., make it this.

E.l.f. Cosmetics 4 - Lip Exfoliator

2. Lip Exfoliator* - This looks like a cute pink lipstick, but it's actually a lip scrub in bullet form. You can get this in several fragrances - mine is Sweet Cherry and smells good enough to eat. So much more practical than a messy sugar scrub in a pot, this also feels lovely to use and does an amazing job of both exfoliating and moisturising the lips. This has definitely taken the place of my old Lush lip scrub - it's brilliant.

E.l.f. Cosmetics 5 - Precision Powder Brush

3. Precision Powder Brush* - Soft as a unicorn's mane, this brush is fantastic quality and I have been loving using it to apply the bronzer from the Face Palette. Plus, the silver trim and clear handle make it look pretty on my dressing table, which is always a bonus. I definitely want to explore e.l.f.'s brush collection a little more.

E.l.f. Cosmetics 6 - Radiant Gel Lip Tint

4. Radiant Gel Lip Tint in Dewy Berry* - I'm not always a fan of this type of product, but this one is really pretty. It's a lovely colour and gives a beautiful sheen to the lips. Although sheer products don't always show up on my lips, this shade is deep enough to make an impact. Part of e.l.f.'s Aqua Beauty range, it's infused with purified water, rosewater and Vitamin E to keep lips soft, so this together with the shiny finish make it a perfect product for summer.

"Nice To Have" Products

E.l.f. Cosmetics 7 - Nude Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette

E.l.f. Cosmetics 8 - Nude Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette

1. Nude Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette* - I know. It's called "rose gold" and I don't think it's a must-have. Am I even a proper blogger? The shades in this palette are undeniably pretty and I'm really impressed with the quality of the packaging. The pigmentation isn't the greatest as you can see in the swatches above, but I found it was vastly improved when worn over an eyeshadow primer - you will see that the colours look a lot more vibrant on my eyes in the photos below. If you're in the market for a neutral eyeshadow palette and don't want to spend a fortune, this would be a nice choice - it's only £12.50. However, if like me you have neutral eyeshadows coming out of your ears, you probably don't need it.

E.l.f. Cosmetics 9 - Baked Blush And Highlight In Rose Gold

2. Baked Highlighter and Blush in Rose Gold* - Yep, I went there again. This is pretty, especially when you swirl the two colours together to create a pink gold highlight. However, on me it just doesn't seem to translate well onto the skin. A shame, because I really wanted to love this. It could just be my skintone, however.

E.l.f. Cosmetics 10 - Intense Ink Eyeliner

3. Intense Ink Eyeliner* - This is nice and black and not too tricky to use, and at £4.50 is a great affordable eyeliner. For me, though, it just doesn't compare with my Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. I need a really precise point on these, if only because my hooded eyes make liners difficult to apply, so the Tattoo Liner was always going to be tough to beat. It is, however, nearly four times the price of this one.

In the pictures below, I'm wearing as many of the above products as I could fit on my face. I have a couple of the mid pink shades from the eyeshadow palette on my eyes, as well as the eyeliner, while my bronzer and blush are from the face palette. I'm also wearing the rose gold highlight, although you can't really see it, and the lip tint.

E.l.f. Cosmetics 11

E.l.f. Cosmetics 12

My Wishlist

1. Molten Liquid Eyeshadows in Brushed Copper and Rose Gold - these looked absolutely stunning when I looked at them at the launch event and have pride of place at the top of my wishlist.

2. Illuminating Face Primer - I've been wanting to try one of these for ages. The e.l.f. one is a good price (£7.50) and apparently can handle both dry and oily skin. Brilliant if you have a face like mine that can never make up its mind.

3. Matte Lip Colours -  Supposedly rich in pigment with a matte finish, they're in jumbo pencil form, twist up, but come with a sharpener just in case you need one. I have my eye on the shade Tea Rose to start with.

4. Velvet Matte Lipsticks - I do love a velvet finish. These lipsticks contain moisturising ingredients and I very much like the look of Ruby Red.

Are you excited about e.l.f.'s return to the UK? Will you be making any purchases?

Kate x

*Gifted item. All opinions, as always, are my own.

5 Ways I Want To Improve As A Blogger

5 Ways I Want To Improve As A Blogger - Blogging Advice - 1
Back in March, I wrote about the five best decisions I've made so far in my blogging "career". (I hesitate to use the word "career", but it's preferable to "journey", no?!) Ever since then, I've been meaning to follow it up with a post about five areas where I'd like to make some improvements. As I said before, I'm in no position to offer anyone advice on how to succeed as a blogger, but I do feel that sharing experiences is helpful.

This is me finally getting around to post number two!

1. I should practise what I preach - In my good decisions post, I talked about how jumping in at the deep end and just starting my blog, regardless of whether I felt ready or not, was a smart thing to do. But for some reason I don't seem capable of following my own advice when it comes to YouTube. Ever since I first started my blog, I've liked the idea of creating a YouTube channel to go with it. While I think that some content works best in written form, there's other stuff that's more effective when talked about, and I would love to be able to offer both. But I just don't get round to it. Partly this is because writing comes naturally to me, while talking, especially to a camera, definitely doesn't. Starting a YouTube channel was always going to be more of a challenge for me than starting a blog. But the main reason, if I'm being totally honest, is fear. Fear of putting myself out there on a notoriously unforgiving platform, and fear of being rubbish at it. But if I never start, how will I ever graduate from rubbish to half decent? Maybe this will be the year when I find some courage and actually do it. Who knows?!

5 Ways I Want To Improve As A Blogger - Blogging Advice - 2

2. I should think more creatively about my content - I cannot tell you the number of times I have published a post I thought was kinda sorta ok-ish, only to think of a much more interesting way I could have presented the content a couple of days later. Now don't get me wrong, I love a good old-fashioned, straightforward review post. I enjoy writing them and I enjoy reading other people's even more - it's my favourite way to find out about new products that I might be interested in trying. However, I do have a tendency to rush the thinking part of my posts. (Not the writing part - I do that painfully slowly!) And all too often, the result of this is that I'll create the most obvious and unimaginative post possible every time, which basically consists of some pretty pictures, and a few paragraphs along the lines of: "This is Product X. You use it on your face. I really like it." Afterwards, it will occur to me that I could perhaps have compared Product X to a rival product from another brand, or created a look with it, or something else. Anything that would have added my own unique spin to the post. The lesson here is that I need to start thinking more about the best way to present each piece of content, instead of just opening Blogger and starting to write.

5 Ways I Want To Improve As A Blogger - Blogging Advice - 3

3. I should take time out to learn my craft - It can be difficult enough to find the time to create regular content, promote that content, be active on social media and deal with my inbox, let alone anything else. But there are other things I would love to do that I know would help improve my blog a lot, such as finally learn how to make the most of my DSLR camera, or how to use SEO properly. Somehow, I need to find a way to manage my time better so that I can fit this kind of stuff in!

4. I should post more consistently - I am terrible at this, and once again, it's a consequence of not being as organised as I should be. All the advice you hear is that you need to produce frequent, but most importantly, consistent content for your readership to grow. As much as I would love to post more frequently, I've accepted lately that two posts a week is actually quite a challenge for me as it is, and that I should focus on achieving that before attempting anything more. There's no point in trying to run before I can walk, and I must say, it's been something of a relief to take the pressure off myself on this score. Hopefully the productivity will follow - watch this space!

5 Ways I Want To Improve As A Blogger - Blogging Advice - 4

5. I should remember why I started - I first started blogging because I felt so inspired by the beautiful content I saw others producing, be that in written or video form. It was a source of so much pleasure for me and I knew I'd get even more out of it by joining in and starting something of my own. I was right. But over time, things subtly change. You improve, even grow a little bit, and you start to think, "hey, maybe I could actually make something out of this". And that, of course, is where the dreaded comparison factor starts coming into play, and where you start raising your expectations, only to find it's a lot harder to succeed than you could ever have imagined, and that maybe the progress you've made really isn't that significant after all. In my good decisions post, I talked about not giving up my blog when I lost heart at the end of last year. Well, perhaps the most important improvement I want to make is in my attitude, by remembering more often why I started it in the first place - for fun. I bumped into the lovely Alina at an event recently, and we chatted about how the blogging world can get disheartening from time to time. Then we agreed that if it wasn't for our blogs, we wouldn't have been there that evening, sipping champagne, having a good old gossip and playing with brand new makeup. Which, after all, wasn't that much of a hardship! When we feel disheartened as bloggers, it's because we're ambitious for more - or at least this is true in my case. Ambition is no bad thing, but if the disappointment gets too much, it can be counter-productive. Sometimes it's good to try to see the glass as half-full.

Can you relate to any of these points? How would you like to improve as a blogger?

Kate x

Collection Primed & Ready Correct & Conceal Palette

Collection Primed & Ready Correct & Conceal Palette Review - 1

Colour correcting concealer palettes - I've been seeing them all over the place lately. Designed to help us in our quest for flawless complexions, they contain concealers in all manner of crazy pastel shades. Each one counteracts a different colour based issue we might have with our skin - such as excessive redness (breakouts, spider veins), sallow yellow tones or dark purplish hues under the eyes.

I don't have huge amounts of colour related issues with my skin, but I do get a bit of redness due to broken capillaries around my nose and cheeks and the occasional blemish on my chin or forehead. (I know, what a goddess!) So although I didn't want to spend a fortune on a fancy palette, I was interested in trying one that could offer some help with the redness. I opted for the Primed & Ready Correct & Conceal Palette from Collection. At £4.99 it's very affordable, plus it's super compact and lightweight, making it perfect for travel. There's even a handy little mirror inside.

Collection Primed & Ready Correct & Conceal Palette Review - 2

I've said it before and I'll say it again - the quality Collection produces at such a low price point is astounding. Their Lasting Perfection concealer has cult status in the blogosphere and for good reason, so needless to say, I had high hopes for this palette.

It contains a green concealer - the one I was most interested in - to neutralise redness, and a lilac one to counteract yellow or sallow tones, which I must confess I don't really have a use for. These are a cream to powder formula. You're supposed to blend them over the areas where you need them as a first step.

Collection Primed & Ready Correct & Conceal Palette Review - 3

Collection Primed & Ready Correct & Conceal Palette Review - 4

For step two, you cover everything over with the liquid Primed & Ready concealer, before setting it with the invisible setting powder. 

Collection Primed & Ready Correct & Conceal Palette Review - 5

The quality of the products is great and everything applies easily. The liquid concealer is very creamy and offers a lot of coverage - it's actually very effective at covering blemishes in its own right. I liked the little brush provided to apply the green concealer to small blemishes and the veins around my nose, but you'd probably want to use a bigger one or perhaps your fingers for any larger areas of redness.

Collection Primed & Ready Correct & Conceal Palette Review - 6

 So, does it work? 

Well, there's no doubt that it does a good job of concealing the redness, but is it noticeably better than my regular concealer? Honestly, in my case, I don't think it is. However, I don't necessarily think that this product is a waste of money. If you're suffering with a larger than usual breakout, a palette like this would be great to have in your stash. Likewise, if you generally struggle to disguise discolouration with your usual base products, you might just love this. As for me, I'm going to hold it in reserve for a day when any spots decide to run wild. It might just become my best friend in that situation!

Have you tried a concealer palette? What's your opinion on them?

Kate x

Three Ways to Style a Trench Coat

Classic, timeless and elegant, is there any situation in which a trench coat wouldn't work? With this crazy cold snap we've been having in the UK lately, a cover up is essential, and trenches are perfect for adding that extra layer while still looking spring-like. I've owned a few variations of them in my time - different lengths, different colours, etc - but my favourite will always be the classic beige trench coat, like this one from Jack Wills. And, just to show how versatile it really is, I've put together three entirely different looks for you, all based around the same coat. Enjoy!

Weekend Wear

Three Ways to Style a Trench Coat - Weekend Wear

Trench - Jack Wills, Jeans, Blouse - Topshop, Shoes - River Island, Bag - Zara

The trench is incredibly classic, so with all my looks, I've tried to compliment that by introducing a few trend-led items without going over the top. Hence the gingham top here, combined with the frill detail on the sleeves, embroidered mules (how beautiful are they?!) and the let-down hems on the jeans. For me, this is the perfect casual Saturday outfit. Relaxed and comfortable enough for wandering round the shops, and cute enough to feel nice in when you stop for lunch somewhere.

Date Night

Three Ways to Style a Trench Coat - Date Night

Trench - As before, Dress, Shoes - Zara, Bag - Kurt Geiger

A trench isn't necessarily the obvious choice for a night out, but why not? I think it would look great thrown over this gorgeously girly, embroidered Zara dress. I also quite like the way the strappy heels pick out the colour of the coat's lining. As for this Kurt Geiger bag, it's a work of art! It's not super cheap, but it's a lot more affordable than a real designer number, and did I mention it's beautiful?!
Nine to Five

Three Ways to Style a Trench Coat - Nine to Five

Trench - As before, TrousersShirtBag - H&M, Shoes - River Island

When I used to work in an office, this was exactly the sort of thing I would wear. You could switch the fashionable frilled trousers for classic cigarette pants if you wanted to, but I kind of like the subtle way these add a modern edge to the outfit. The bulk of this look comes from H&M, which I used to love back when I needed a "corporate" wardrobe as they have so much to choose from and it's all so affordable. 

Are you a fan of the classic trench coat? Which of these looks was your favourite?

Kate x

This post was in collaboration with Jack Wills. All opinions, as always, are my own.

April Favourites

April Favourites 2017

This month, I've been loving nourishing hair and nail care, clarifying skincare, a beautiful scented candle and a cute cross body bag from Topshop. Wanna see? Well, keep reading!
1.  Dove Dry Oil hair care range - Shampoo, Conditioner and Treatment Oil

April Favourites 2017 - Dove Dry Oil Hair Care Range - Shampoo, Conditioner and Treatment Oil

As far as I'm concerned, this range can hold its own against any high end shampoos and conditioners out there. Beautifully nourishing, it's exactly what my dry, damaged hair needs - regular readers will know all about the overly bleached areas I'm currently growing out! My hair is also quite fine, so while the temptation is to slather it with moisturising products, I also have to be careful not to weigh it down too much. This range is perfect for keeping that balance. My hair feels soft after washing and conditioning, while the treatment oil adds shine. My one gripe is that the intensive hair mask that used to be part of the range seems to have disappeared from the drugstore shelves. Please Dove, bring it back!

April Favourites 2017 - Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

I've had this mask for ages, but I've discovered a new appreciation for it this month. Why? Because I started to get lazy about using it, and noticed a deterioration in my skin as a result. I can get breakouts on my chin and forehead if I'm not rigorous with my skincare routine, and I know now that using this twice a week really helps to keep those pesky spots at bay. Needless to say I'm going to make more of an effort to keep using it from now on!

April Favourites 2017 - Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil

If I've been lazy with skincare lately, one area where I've been making more effort is nail care. This moisturising oil really makes a difference to my nails and cuticles, and helps to keep them looking neater and more polished. I massage it into my fingertips whenever I give myself a manicure, and also a few evenings a week before bed.

April Favourites 2017 - Mini Moderns Darjeeling Scented Candle

OK, I'll admit, I haven't had this candle all month. In fact, I only received it about a week ago. But I knew as soon as I laid eyes on it that I was going to love it. First of all, just look at how pretty the jar is! When the candle's finished, it will make a lovely makeup brush holder. And then, of course, there's the candle itself. The fragrance - tea, fresh green fig and spicy white pepper - is delicate and absolutely beautiful. Both relaxing and luxurious, it has a hint of the exotic, whisking you away to a far away land as you close your eyes and breathe it in. I do love a scented candle and this is a really, really good one.

April Favourites 2017 - Topshop Cross Body Bag

An absolute bargain at £19.00, I've been taking this cute little bag everywhere with me this month. It goes with everything, fits all your essentials without too many problems and totally looks designer. There is also a light pink version with silver hardware, which I probably need. Rude not to at these kind of prices, no?!

What have you been loving this month?

Kate x

*Gifted item. All opinions, as always, are my own.

The Almost Perfect Dress

OOTD featuring a floral dress from Topshop and beaded bracelet from Lola Rose - 1

There is so much I love about this dress. The feminine, floral print, the floaty chiffon fabric, the high neck with the subtle ruffle. And I think we all know by now that I can't resist a bit of statement sleeve action. In fact, this is pretty much my dream dress, apart from one thing.

It's too bloody short.

OOTD featuring a floral dress from Topshop and beaded bracelet from Lola Rose - 2

Now, I don't necessarily have a problem getting my legs out. But when you're clumsy like me, it's a bit of a pain trying to be extra careful not to drop anything. Because, naturally, if you drop something, you're going to have to bend down to pick it up, and you absolutely cannot bend down in this dress. Not unless you want to expose your entire butt to innocent passers-by, that is.

And I'm only 5'3! Goodness knows how it would work on anybody taller.

OOTD featuring a floral dress from Topshop and beaded bracelet from Lola Rose - 3  OOTD featuring a floral dress from Topshop and beaded bracelet from Lola Rose - 4

Luckily, the high neck and dark background mean that you can team this little number with tights and boots as well as bare legs and sandals, which is a lot safer for all concerned. And, given that the weather here has been distinctly un-spring like of late (apparently snow is forecast for later in the week!) I have been able to get some wear out of it. Every cloud has a silver lining, as they say.

OOTD featuring a floral dress from Topshop and beaded bracelet from Lola Rose - 5

OOTD featuring a floral dress from Topshop and beaded bracelet from Lola Rose - 6

One thing that really is perfect is this sweet little beaded bracelet that I was very kindly sent by Lola Rose. It's the Greenwich bracelet in pearl quartzite and rose gold, and it compliments the dress beautifully. The quality of this bracelet has really impressed me. It's very delicate, and the beads have a lovely lustre to them. Best of all, it's adjustable, so those with tiny wrists like me don't need to worry about whether it will fit. There's hundreds of variations on this bracelet, so I'd definitely recommend browsing the Lola Rose website if you like the look of this one.

OOTD featuring a floral dress from Topshop and beaded bracelet from Lola Rose - 7

OOTD featuring a floral dress from Topshop and beaded bracelet from Lola Rose - 8

Dress, Sandals (similar), Bag (similar)  - Topshop, Bracelet* - Lola Rose 

OOTD featuring a floral dress from Topshop and beaded bracelet from Lola Rose - 9

Have you ever owned an almost perfect dress?

Kate x

*Gifted item. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Blush Pink - The Remix

Blush Pink OOTD featuring Zara culottes - 1

It seems we have a new obsession on our hands. After extolling the virtues of blush pink in this post, here I am bringing it back again, but this time in an entirely new way. At least, new for me.

Wide legged trousers are one of those things I've always admired on other people but never felt suited me. After all, generally speaking, petite frames and vast expanses of fabric just don't mix. However, I don't like to be defeated when it comes to fashion, and if I love something, I'll try it on, even if I'm 99% sure it won't work on me. That's what happened when I saw these Zara culottes. I had to give them a chance, because, hello, they're blush pink.

Blush Pink OOTD featuring Zara culottes - 2

Beautiful colour aside, I absolutely love the cut and fit of these. The poser in me can't help but wish they had pockets, but at the same time I can see how that might compromise the sleek silhouette they create. I know a lot of people dress culottes down, and I think they can look fabulous worn like that, but for me the heels are necessary as I'm so little, so I'll probably be reserving these for formal occasions when I want an alternative to a dress.

Blush Pink OOTD featuring Zara culottes - 3

Blush Pink OOTD featuring Zara culottes - 4

I've paired the culottes with this pretty white blouse from (you've guessed it!) Shein. This is actually a body and very comfortable to wear. I love the neck detail and the fact that it's semi-sheer - so feminine and delicate. It also works beautifully with jeans, loafers and a blazer.

Blush Pink OOTD featuring Zara culottes - 5

Blush Pink OOTD featuring Zara culottes - 6

Culottes - Zara, Blouse*- Shein, Shoes (similar) - Aldo, Bag (similar) - Accessorize 

I felt quite elegant in this outfit, particularly in this beautiful setting! It was nice to have a change from my brick wall and work with a photographer again. (And when I say photographer, I mean husband. Obviously.) The photos were taken at Easton Walled Gardens and you can read more about the place and our visit to the area here if you haven't already.

Any culottes in your wardrobe? If so, how do you style them?

Kate x
*Gifted item. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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