SHOP MY PICKS

I’ve always said there’s no such thing as too many lipsticks and my collection is the perfect example. I spent the last 3 years working in beauty and I’ve been fortunate enough to try some of the best lipsticks in the industry. But I came across some disasters too. Finding the right lipstick can be a tricky business so here I’m to take the guesswork out for you. My friends always run to me for advice on everything beauty – be it foundation (discover my 5 top here), mascara, eyeliner or the favourite lippy, so I decided to share with you the shades and textures of my go-to lipsticks in this post. Hopefully, you will find a new addition to your lipstick wardrobe here.

Givenchy Le Rouge – Brun Createur

I’m not typically a fan of peachy or coral shades as they’re a bit too bright for what I like. I can never find a good balanced shade that will suit my complexion, so I’ve been trying really hard to avoid them. This lipstick was given to me as a gift and I had to keep looking at the colour for about two months before I was brave enough to try it. I was so close to giving it away. And oh boy, that would have been such a big mistake. I’ve never tried a lipstick with such a beautiful velvety texture that stays on for so long. I would definitely recommend trying this range and the price point is very good for such a long lasting formula.

L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Exclusive Reds – Blake

Honestly, since I first got that lipstick when the collection was launched, I never had to look for another shade of red. I know they say Chanel is classic for reds and if you want to spend £20-odd quid on one, you go and do it. I’ll just keep restocking on that £6.99 beauty, until they decide to discontinue it, like they do with all good lipsticks (hopefully not). This matte formula is so easy to apply and stays on forever. It’s the perfect confidence booster and amazing for events. The shade is also a close dupe to the Tom Ford Ruby Rush which costs a whopping £40, so if that’s not a good enough reason to get it, I don’t know what else to say.

Tom Ford Casablanca

Speaking of Tom Ford lipsticks, I do own a significant amount of them despite their high price point. My card just jumps out of the purse and inserts itself into the reader when I try one of them on. The variety of textures, shades and finishes just makes you want to have a giant Tom Ford lipstick stand on your dressing table but sadly they don’t sell them YET! (*cough*) My favourite shade for everyday is Casablanca. It’s such a nice and easy colour to wear to work because it’s nothing intrusive. Pussycat is a must try too, if you’re looking for a good non-drying matte shade. If you don’t fancy spending £40 on a lipstick before you’re confident in the quality, you can always go for their clutch-sized Lips&Boys collection for £28 each. They come in a variety of shades and finishes, so you’ll be sure to find a favourite amongst them.

MAC Whirl

Not gonna lie, I’m not a MAC girl when it comes to makeup but I was kind of forced to try some of their shades and after carefully researching, I opted out for Whirl. It’s a lovely mauve shade but on the deeper end. The texture is slightly more drying to what I prefer. And the colour doesn’t really last as long as others I recommended above but it’s definitely a good shade to have amongst your beauty arsenal. I always use a lip liner in a similar shade with that one or a brush to apply it. It just makes it look complete.

Charlotte Tilbury Lost Cherry

I promise I didn’t buy this just for the rose gold packaging! There’s more to that lipstick than good looks but you need to try it to see for yourself. It has a buildable and hydrating formula that creates the illusion of fuller-looking lips. Ladies, if you say that’s not something you’re looking for, we can’t be friends, I’m sorry… I’m obsessed with this hot pink colour which maybe isn’t your cup of tea. It certainly wasn’t mine either, until I decided to give a try. I can’t wait to try other shades. Apparently, Pillow Talk is really nice but you didn’t hear that from me.

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous – 62 Libre

I don’t know what exactly I love more about this lipstick. The velvety smooth texture or the fact that the shade is called Libre, which means free. It’s definitely a liberating shade, perfect for an effortless look. The finish is something between velvet and matte. I have to say it does feel really smooth on the lips, like this luxurious, expensive silk. I like to use a darker lip liner with that one and then fill in with the colour. Beautiful is the only word that comes to my mind when I think of it! The price is £28 but it’s definitely a good investment not just for the lipstick but the stunning packaging too. I mean who doesn’t like to take a Chanel lipstick out of their bag? Did I mention it looks really good for your flatlays?

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Applying makeup is like a ritual to me and foundation is the product I use the most in my routine. That’s why finding the right formula, colour and finish is so important to me. I feel that if my base is flawless than my makeup looks good as a whole. I’ve spent years trying out foundations, some of them have been a total disaster. I’d like to say I’ve learned from my mistakes and my foundation collection feels complete now.

Switching up foundations depending on the season and occasion is a must. I like sheer and lightweight formulas for hot summer days and generally prefer dewy to matte finish. On occasions when I’m attending events or need my makeup to last all day I would wear a full coverage formula. All of the below foundations have been tested and loved by me, and I can’t imagine my life without some of them.

 

DIORSKIN STAR

This foundation has a special place in my heart and everyone who knows me knows I love it. I find it hard to part with it and I always try to stock up so I don’t run out. The formula of Diorskin Star instantly brightens up and evens out the complexion.

My shade: 30

  • FULL TO MEDIUM COVERAGE
  • DEWY FINISH
  • SPF 30
  • AVAILABLE IN 16 SHADES

ESTÉE LAUDER DOUBLE WEAR

When I tried this foundation for the first time I thought there’s no chance I’m ever going to wear it again. I wasn’t impressed at all. It felt heavy and thick as if I was wearing a mask. I decided to give it another try just recently because the shade was darker than what I normally wear but my skin was quite tanned at that time. This time I used it with the Lancome Pro Hydra Glow Primer and the result was fantastic! Best thing about it – it lasts forever on the skin!

My shade: 4N1 Shell Beige

  • FULL COVERAGE
  • SPF 10
  • MATTE FINISH
  • AVAILABLE IN 29 SHADES

TOM FORD TRACELESS

I still regret the amount of time it took me to give this foundation a try. I’ve heard so many good things about it yet didn’t consider it closely. Was it worth the hype? Totally! This foundation is great for natural look as it has a dewy finish and it feels amazing on the skin.

My shade: Natural

  • 3 IN 1 GLOW, VITALITY AND RADIANCE
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND LUMINOUS
  • SKIN-NOURISHING TOM FORD INFUSING COMPLEX
  • SPF 15

GUERLAIN TERRACOTA JOLI TEINT

This formula combines the perfection of foundation, the beautiful effect of skincare and the sun-kissed radiance of Terracota. I love wearing that foundation at the heart of winter or upon arrival of spring to give my dull skin the radiance it needs. It’s ideal if you want your skin to look makeup free, makes the complexion instantly warmer, even and naturally radiant.

My shade: Natural

  • RADIANT FINISH
  • LIGHT COVERAGE
  • SPF 20
  • AVAILABLE IN 5 SHADES

CHANEL VITALUMIÈRE AQUA

I wear this foundation on days when I want my skin to feel free. It’s lightweight and ultra-blendable formula feels like a second skin. The bottle is travel-friendly so I like to bring it with me when I’m travelling light. The coverage is very light but buildable and instantly awakens tired skin.

My shade: 40

  • ULTRA-LIGHT COVERAGE
  • TONING AND ENERGISING EFFECT
  • HYALURONIC ACID DERIVATIVE
  • SPF 15

What other foundations do you think I should try?

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I don’t remember having a period in my life when I had more than three perfumes at once. I always had a scent for every day, one for going out and one for special occasions. In the past couple of years I’ve grown my collection from three to over twenty fragrances. My love for scents developed when I first started working in perfumery, just under three years ago. I was exposed to a world of aromas that I had never imagined before and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Perfume is such an important aspect of our lives whether we realise it or not. Most of the time we don’t. It’s because we’re so used to our own perfume that can’t smell it on ourselves anymore. But other people can and it does make an impact. In the last three years I learned so much about fragrances that I’m almost like Google now – ask me anything and I’ll explain to you how it works.

Perfumes are not just about having the latest thing that everyone has gone crazy for. A scent can transform the way we feel completely. It’s a powerful tool for creating memories that will last a lifetime and a statement of personal style, just like a bag or a pair of shoes. Fragrance is such a personal and complex thing. We often overlook it and don’t give it the attention it deserves. As the perfume industry is progressing, we no longer need to smell like our friend or the lady next door. However, we can certainly smell like an ex boyfriend or even share a scent with the hubby (yes, dual gender fragrances are a thing now). I decided to share some tips with you and hopefully give you some guidance that will help you find your next scent love.

DO SOME RESEARCH

Many of us go into a store looking for a new scent without knowing what type of perfumes we like. When you describe a perfume to the consultant in the shop as fresh or sweet, that doesn’t give them much of an insight. I would suggest doing some research on the different categories in perfumery and trying to figure out which one are your preferences falling under. I love my fragrances to be either fresh or woody and I don’t like any sweet or floral notes. Unless it’s orange blossom. That’s one of my favourite ingredients because it does smell like a flower but it’s got the sparkle of the orange fruit.

PICK YOUR FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS

While doing your research you may find that two or more of your favourite fragrances contain the same ingredient. A lot of women like jasmine because it smells feminine. Men on the other hand prefer woody notes like sandalwood, cedar wood, patchouli and oud. If you discover that you have a favourite ingredient then try to look for fragrances that contain the ingredient of your choice. When I discovered I like neroli (orange blossom) I kept trying fragrances which contain that specific ingredient. After a week of trying every possible fragrance out there, I discovered Tom Ford Neroli Portofino which is still my favourite fragrance to date.

DON’T TRY TOO MANY

This may seem obvious but a lot of people make the mistake of walking out of a store after spraying ten fragrances. The problem with that is trying to figure out later on what you sprayed earlier that day. Try and smell the fragrances from the bottle first to determine which are the ones you want to spray on a blotter card. I wouldn’t recommend spraying more than 3-4 fragrances on a card because your nose will get confused and you won’t be able to smell the difference.

NARROW IT DOWN

Try to pick two fragrances that tick all your boxes so you can try them on. It’s very important to narrow it down so you don’t end up spraying every single perfume on your skin. Narrowing it down to two and spraying one on each hand will make it easier for you to choose one over the other. Don’t rush to make a decision because it takes time for fragrances to develop on your skin. Leave them on for at least 15 minutes before you decide which one is your favourite. Sometimes we rush into buying a perfume because we like the initial scent but then we go home and realise it’s not our cup of tea. That’s because we didn’t give it enough time to develop on the skin.

TAKE A SAMPLE

If you still find it hard to decide there and then, by all means ask for a sample. I know some companies are not great with giving out samples. But there’s others that actually want you to try their fragrances and would be happy to give you a sample as long as you show that you’re genuinely interested in what they have to offer. My advice is don’t just run into a store asking for any sample. Spend time to figure out what exactly are you looking for . If you still find it hard to make a decision, take a sample home, give it a try and after you’re 100% happy, go and spend your precious pennies on it.

Do you have any tips or sources that help you when choosing your next scent love?

Michelle x

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