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February 2015

The Khaki Continues...

Happy Sunday! Let's celebrate with a weekend-worthy outfit I snapped when I was heading out from my mom’s. You might remember this from an earlier outfit as each item was £5 in the Missguided Black Friday sale! The set is still online though and also in black. It’s quite possibly clear that I order from them all the time; they just have such a constant stream of new things that there’s always five or more items I have my eye on constantly. You do have to pay to return things but often there’s a discount code around so you make your money back if you do have to send a few things back.

I noted in my last post that this skirt is a super-smoothing yet light material, and the slight shimmer makes for the most streamlined silhouette! The khaki obsessions continue and I would recommend following @khakistyles on Instagram if you are as into this colour as much as me! I think at this rate I’ll be sick of it by around April, just in time for summer. Since wearing midi skirts for a good year, I’ve totally shyed away from any mini lengths. The longer, the better! This skirt is just that bit longer so shows off the slimmest part of your legs. I’m on the hunt for a maxi skirt next, although with the news ‘70s trend hitting the highstreet, I feel like we will all be in draped paisley and denim bell bottoms soon!

A Weekend Face

Ohhh it's nearly the end of the week! Another one flies by, and I'm looking forward to February fun (and pay day!) while trying to resist thinking about my SS15 wardrobe too much. It's just not warm enough to invest in any of the new trends on the high street yet and then spoil them with a gigantic coat, but I might think about some transitional trends to try for Feb - Apr. My most worn clothes are for work though and it's not the place to make a fashion statement, but I'm feeling a '70s blouse maybe.

Otherwise, the weekends are free for me to wear anything I fancy, even though I don't do much in the day time aside from running errands. If I do find myself meeting friends, shopping or doing anything out of the ordinary, I would spend about an hour on my makeup, catching up on YouTube videos as I go.

My hair does look every colour under the sun in these photos but it is more of a sandy colour all over in real life. I do have a hair appointment at the end of the month as I want it to be more of a uniform colour, plus I've just about got rid of these darn blue bits! I dyed a few strands blue in November and they are still tinged with green! The dye said 2-10 washes but proved absolutely indestructible! 

So in the week I wear just foundation, concealer, mascara and a touch of blush or bronzer - literally! I feel like nowadays makeup has streamlined as much as it has exploded, so on one side we are all contouring and over-lining out pouts, but the other side means heavy eye kohl and mahogany fake tan is never to be seen. I'm totally comfortable without eyeliner, even though a few years ago I would not have felt complete without any! However a weekend is a totally different story and I do break out my favourite items. Here's the recent run down...

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser - I had used up a few samples of Benefit POREfessional and found this primer in a Superdrug deal. It's more of a silicone gel formula than Benefit's cult offering so it goes a long way and leaves a noticeable base. I wouldn't rave about it but otherwise I do still find applying heavier foundations to just-moisturised skin to be a little patchy.

Sleek I Divine Pallette in Storm - I've had this palette for so long and it really prevents me from wanting a Naked palette as the shimmer and matte nude shades are all gorgeous. The additional jewel toned brown, copper and rust colours are my go-to for a more lavish look and I wear these in the crease to frame my eyes, plus a touch along the lash line.

L'oreal Miss Manga Mega Volume Mascara - This is a repeat buy of what I felt was an amazingly lengthening mascara for serious doll eyes. However my second tube did not agree with my eyes and left them super dry. My lashes started breaking off and I have ended up with a few stubby parts. Since moving onto a Benefit They're Real sample I had stashed away, the problem has stopped!

MAC quad with Orb, Kid, Swiss Chocolate and Corduroy - I've used this palette for my brows for the longest time! I would only use the shades on my eyes for a super matte look, but for brows I mix the colours to get a suited shade and use a stiff angled brush with a small handle.

MAC Harmony Contour Powder - Tanya Burr always raved about MAC Harmony and when it was used in a MAC makeover I one had, I knew it would be a worthy staple product. After using a heavy foundation, this adds the dimension back to your face and is never a conflicting colour to any look. Great for pale gals.

Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo - Oh horror of horror, I dropped this and the highlighter smashed! Well I actually smashed the powder when out and about but it was all still all inside of the case, so I vowed to use it carefully at home. Then I went ahead and knocked it off my makeup shelves, covering the floor in shimmer - great! Goodbye beautiful highlight. If I didn't already have a few highlighters, I would definitely buy this again. I do have the contour powder intact though and it's a lovely rich, warm brown that really warms up your look. I wouldn't use it all over the face but save it for some life to my cheeks.

Rimmel Lip Pencil in Addiction - This lip combination may seem a bit odd but stay with me. I've been looking for the perfect matte rose colour and purchased MAC Chili. This is too orange so I layer it with this Rimmel deep rose lip liner to counteract this.  Then to tone down the brightness of the lipstick, I added a touch of the MUA Luxe Velvet Matte Lip Lacquer in Tranquility. I should have bought MAC Retro lipstick I think but it wasn't in stock and Chili looked like the shade I wanted. Oh the error of testing lipsticks on your hand!

The £16 outfit

Happy Monday all! I have a disjointed week as I have some work events and one part of tomorrow is a visit to the Sea Life Centre aquarium! I visited for the launch of their penguin attraction through work too but I am rather excited to go to the depths of the sea again, even though the shark tunnel is so freaky! This early end to the day also gives me chance to get my nails and brows done straight after, which I usually only have Saturdays as my window to do so.

I wanted to tell you about a recent bargain of an outfit and share a few money saving tips. For the past few years I have really homed in the way I spend my money and do live quite frugally. I know what it's like to be the blogger to impose those month-long no spending bans and 'must use up all of my products' resolutions, but essentially it does not work. I suppose it's a bit like dieting, where you can't actually make a lifelong change if you only make temporary, radical plans.

My main prerogative style-wise at the moment is having an inspirational and forward-thinking look in mind, and reminding myself of that when I go shopping. You can see from my Tumblr it's a mix between Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner really! When I find myself pondering over a bracelet on a sale rack or walking into Topshop and being hit with so many trends I am so not up to date with, I remember my inspirational themes and know I am focusing towards my own look.

This also helps when it comes to sales, discounts and flash offers. When a brand emails you a coupon code, you should only need to check out the store to see if something you were about to purchase anyway is in the deal. This is my bugbear with loyalty points cards - you have to spend money to 'save' money! You don't actually make any money so you almost 'fail' if you don't spend! It's better to not spend anything than make back a few pennies.

Alas I frustrate myself because we are all working or studying to be able to buy ourselves lovely things, treats experiences anyway, so by all means you should spend how you wish. However if you are spending yourself into debt or using shopping as a way to cure self esteem or fill a gap, you'll always be going around in circles of guilt. You want to be able to spend without the guilt! Just being conscious of this can help you control your spending more and allow you to still be frivolous in fun and non-detrimental ways.

Recently I practiced this when finding some total bargains to fill gaps in my wardrobe. I have two pencil skirts which I have worn to death so needed a little wardrobe injection to be able to mix and match a few new outfits. It was around the time of Black Friday sales which I avoided as I wasn't planning on buying anything at the time, but I saw on Facebook that Missguided were throwing a £5 sale from 10am - 12pm on the Sunday morning. I scooped up six items including some Christmas stocking fillers and this khaki set. I haven't worn the top and skirt together yet but it is such a chic yet different outfit, and I've worn the skirt twice already. The rouched material is so unique and it has a flattering sheen.

On the pictured night, I went for drinks with friends and it was a rather chilly night, so I wore this roll neck top I got for £3 in Lidl. Seriously! I go food shopping there because they have such a good selection of veg and fresh fish, and they often have a menagerie of random homewear and sometimes a few clothing items. This turtle neck was just touted as a 'ladies top' in a wrapper with a cheesy stock photo and unlike the skimpy, cropped ones on the highstreet, this one is a soft, opaque fabric with a truly chunky roll neck and decent length. I tucked it into the skirt and voila, you would never know it was from Lidl! I can even wear this for work.  The further £8 was spent on some New Look heels I got a while ago in their sale. I always find New Look have great shoes that you never notice or aren't available everywhere, so it's effective to browse all of the odd shoes on the shelves of their sales and unearth treasures.

It does make me wince that some shops now sell 'going out' outfits for £100+ when a lot of us don't want to wear the exact same outfit twice; especially a statement one. I never used to mix and match but now I get full use out of my separates. I also included the outfit in a vlog which was really funny to watch when editing as believe it or not, the graffiti background walls were in front of the toilets of a bar, and every time a dude came out of the men's loos, my friend turned the camera on them and so I've got loads of footage of men looking really taken aback and walking away really confused! It sounds ridiculous but there is nothing like being silly with your friends.

THE RESULTS! What I actually bought in the January sales

So the jury is in, the results are in and we have our conclusions. Sadly I'm not talking about the Serial podcasts but about my buys in the January sales, which did add up to a lot but I knew half, if not most, would probably be returned.

I generally buy a fair few things online across the month and go high street shopping once or twice, but I return a heck of a lot of buys. If I tried to curb myself from spending, I would want to buy more and those items would seem even more attractive! So if I see anything I like and know I have potential to wear enough times, I order without a second thought and then make my decisions once parcels arrive. I have no qualms in returning anything and do impose the rule that if I have any hesitation with the fit, a button or how easily something creases, it goes straight back to the store. If an item takes a lot of effort to wear, such as ironing, dry cleaning, a certain bra, etc, then you will probably never wear it, and if you have a doubt on the colour, fit, or anything you see in the mirror, you will always choose to wear something else instead. Your mind and heart may be willing you to keep it but willpower means sometimes you must actually reject your instincts and know a week down the line, you won't have given that item a second thought. Or you can simply purchase it again!

So I set out to find some bargains in the sales that I could wear over and over for work or replace items that I currently love that are starting to look a little worn, which is often shoes. As I returned a few things, I spotted some more items too! We are at that 'final sale - 70% offer + a discount + free shipping' stage where every store wants to just clear that stock, so I have my eagle eyes peeled.

River Island - I collected my bag of items in store last night after work. I can't wait until the new Bullring store opens! The changing rooms are quite tatty but I had a good trying-on session before rejecting all of the items but one. I really like River Island's quality but the other items just didn't fit, though I kept the pair of giraffe print trousers and am wearing them right now as I type! They add a cool element to a monochrome look and are perfectly comfortable. £42 £15

Lavish Alice - The culottes haven't actually arrived yet but I have tweeted Lavish Alice to ask. Lavish Al' have reduced the culottes plus everything else in their sale to £10 today but a lot of things have sold out and I still hope these trousers fit! I may be able to find another size on ASOS instead. UPDATE: They never replied to my tweet but the parcel was here when I got home (I started this post on my lunch break!). The culottes fit which is awesome and they do need an iron but I don't think they would crease while wearing. They add a really cool dimension to the standard black trousers of the world and will feel really cool in a subtle way. £48 £23 (£1 discount used) - although now they are £38 off!

Kurt Geiger - The heels I bought are beautifully made and have the hint of gold at the toe, along with that lace up detail I just love. They are slightly more formal than edgy, but the sturdiness should mean they last well and will be a good investment. I am usually between shoe sizes and went with the size up, FYI. I do have my eyes on the snakeskin pair so may see if there are any in store if I pass by, but the want is not great enough to warrant another postal order. £85 £49

Topshop - The Topshop suit I ordered was an impulse and the size 8 just did not fit. The giraffe print trousers in River Island were an 8, but the Topshop pair wouldn't even go up past my thighs! The width of the trousers was minuscule but I do know Arcadia sizing in general is for a girl with slim hips, and my hips definitely don't lie. Returned!

Debenhams - I did keep the Rituals set in the end as it did only come to £7 with my voucher. I had a sniff when I got home and it really does smell like a sensual version of Vicks! This will make for the most heavenly shower and I might save it for my nights out. Just the motions of getting ready for a night out has so many rituals and scents attached to it, from your fake tan to favourite perfume to the whiff of that heavy duty foundation - I'm always in a great mood when a night is about to begin! £17 £7 (£10 Beauty Club Card points used)

Bonus round! I spotted a few more things last night I just had to check out further...

Missguided - I was only my way out for an aforementioned night out a few weeks ago and needed a jacket but didn't want to take one of my coats and risk loosing it. I scrambled around in my wardrobe looking for any jacket or cover-up but my search was fruitless and I resorted in asking my brother, who produced a navy, tartan-lined bomber jacket he was about to send to the charity shop. The large, oversized fit and puffy style actually looked really cool and androgynous over a pencil skirt, and I continued to wear it!

I did leave it at my friend's house on new year's eve but I wanted to scoop up one of my own to wear on nights where I wouldn't just be slinging it on a chair in a bar. I wanted one I could wear once the weather picks up or when I am out shopping or on dates (LOL those are certainly once in a blue moon!). I used Shop Style to have a browse of all of the stores online (I always use this when looking for something specific, this isn't sponsored or anything!) and saw Missguided had a few bombers (can we call them that?) in their sale. I picked up a standard one from their main collection in the end and also a Nicole x Missguided version in a textured mesh with a super cropped fit and puffy arms. I threw a £7 khaki pencil skirt into my basket too to perk up my wardrobe as I have worn everything over Christmas and don't really have any fresh options left at the moment. Here's hoping one of these jackets is a winner! I spotted this khaki version too but my size is sadly sold out. £TBC

Urban Outfitters - After receiving an email, I browsed the further reduced sale in my lunch break to see if any of the gifts were suitable for upcoming birthdays and had a look in store. I spotted a super thick, mosaic patterned scarf which unfortunately isn't online, but they had a bunch at 50% off so I would check out their stores if the temperatures are dropping where you are too! £32 £15

January Mood Board

Hi guys, happy hump day. I once told my boss it was hump day and he got totally the wrong message, awkward!  My first week of 2015 has plodded along with plans of a crazy city mini break to Athens soon with the girls and a terrible driving lesson today. I can't ever see myself being in control of a car and confident enough to drive independently, I just go blank and drift off into my own thoughts. I've always been the same in things like exams and tests, where I ponder and plan for a few minutes and then begin, in contrast to those around who would scribble away as soon as the papers were turned over. I need to know how things work and figure out their function rather than learn something by following instructions so many times that it becomes habit. Unless I learn the mechanics of a car, I'll never feel comfortable driving around in lessons but not knowing what I am doing! I don't enjoy driving at all and am only learning to get it out of the way, so maybe I have blocked myself from learning. It's possibly because I'm not often in a car and don't really trust them, for example I would never arrange for a family member to go out of their way to drop me anywhere and make a journey they wouldn't have made. This is why I don't like flying or fair ground rides either, but maybe I just need to get a grip!! 

I've heard a lot about bloggers and vloggers making their new year's resolutions and I think mine in general are firstly to keep up positive momentum and energy to generate even more energy, such as keeping the house clutter free by tidying each day, exercise, running errands quickly rather than putting them off, and secondly to maybe work my brain less but stay creative. Working for most of the day for someone else does mean you finally arrive home and have limited energy to pour into yourself. Sometimes you are mentally all out of juice just by keeping track of your life admin such as bills, events, appointments, errands, etc, that your brain constantly pings with the pull of ideas and reminders. The brain can become frazzled and definitely over-toasted! So almost like when a laptop starts burning your knees from exhaustion, I'm going to section off time to fill it with books, family,  friends and adventure, and leave the to do list at home. So what if you haven't attacked that pile of clothes set for eBay or got round to getting that better phone contract, these things aren't of importance.

That was a rather epic start to what is essentially my style inspiration for the month, but I hope shows the direction I am going in. It's all about streamlining and I also need to not beat myself up about finding driving so unnatural.

On reflection of last month's mood, I felt happy in all of the outfits I wore in December even though I didn't buy anything new for the festive season. Nothing that I own is especially over-worn so I mixed my recent favourites with a few newer things I was waiting to wear. I have posted most outfits on Instagram but might blog about them too! I still haven't branched out into slicked back hair but I did try an Ariana Grande style up do which was slightly out of my comfort zone, having your hair scraped away from your face. I am going to refine that hairstyle and maybe graduate into a sleek high pony in the near future. I did go sparkly and statement with some makeup looks, but for lips I discovered the MUA lip pencil in Caramel Nougat which is the plumping nude of your dreams, and only £1! My nails have been neutral tones and one shade I loved (MUA Truffle Cream), one shade I didn't love so much (Barry M Almond).

When I raided my Tumblr for my most recent inspiration, I realised I haven't reblogged too much from the past month. I'm still liking oversized coats and turtle necks, and fully want to embrace the sleek yet statement look this year. I do want to get some killer accessories, outrageous shoes or something a little off, almost an item so left field and fashion forward that it actually looks seamless against some plain, classic basics. We'll see! It's tempting to check out all of the new SS15 lines dripping into the high street stores but we still have a few cold months ahead.

What I Actually Bought in the January Sales

Well it's a quite ironic titling this post as January sales when all of this shopping was done before the month even began! I've enjoyed seeing the posts from bloggers with their sale favourites but thought it would be useful to show what I actually ordered with my own money. Isn't the early payday such a killer - hello 6 week month!

I haven't even visited any shops as I just haven't had chance due to not taking any work holiday, so all of this was purchased online and in a somewhat frugal way. I tried to only look for things I had on my wishlist already or clothes I could wear over and over again for work, rather than spending hours scrolling through the sales for purchases I was never planning on buying in the first place! The rule 'if you didn't buy it full price, you don't need it now' was definitely in my mind.

River Island - I had a River Island spree because I recently found I actually fit into their tailored trousers in a certain size. It is SO hard and long to go trouser shopping!  I’ve ordered about ten pairs of ASOS black trousers at a time in the past and none of them would fit properly. These sale items are all for work though as I would not wear proper trousers and blouses in my chosen wardrobe, and never did when I worked in fashion. I have said a few times that I struggle with my office dress code because I found it hard at first to find my style within the 'rules', but have now defined the objectives as 1) items you can mix and match, and 2) items that do not need slips underneath or jackets to shield from the chilly office air-con. I am tempted by a Topshop suit as my first ever suit, but I’m not ready to part with the cash just yet and I missed the ones that went into the sale. (NB: just as I typed that, I had another check and for the Topshop navy suit below, there were size 8s available in the jacket and trousers! I’m not sure they will fit but I’ve ordered them to store so can easily return if not. I’m otherwise great as keeping receipts and new things in the bags as I constantly return things. It’s a common error to buy something and hang it in your wardrobe, before realising a few months down the line that you just didn’t have chance to wear it!)

Lavish Alice - Funnily enough I forgot I purchased these Lavish Alice culottes until now! Lucia has blogged about how much she has loved her pair this year and had so much wear out of them, which definitely appealed to me as I tend to look for work clothes that I can wear over and over without the quality fading. They will add a much needed style injection compared with your average black trousers, and I’m hoping they aren’t too cropped so I can wear normal ankle boots with them and not have too much leg showing. I am tempted by the navy pair but the black will be slightly more wearable, so I’ll see how they fit. I have a feeling culottes are one of those trends that surface one year but aren’t truly adopted until the next. I found an airy black pair a few months ago for £5 in a Dorothy Perkins sale and wore a floral pair from Boohoo all summer!

Kurt Geiger - I’ve also absolutely loved my lace up Choies heels this year and even considered buying another pair! Why hasn’t the high street came out with an amazing lace up pair? eBay and cheapie international sites are awash with them! I spotted these Miss KG pairs earlier in the year and snapped up some sizes in the sale, the chosen site being Debenhams as I had a £30 voucher I got from Buyapower earlier in the year to use up, and the actual Kurt Geiger website couldn’t deliver for around two weeks. They have arrived and are beautiful quality. I'm SO tempted by the snake skin!

Debenhams - I was watching Lily Pebbles' December favourites and usually my thinking is ‘Why buy a shower gel for £12 when I could buy 12 at £1 and last an entire year!', however I was so enabled by her description of the Rituals Hammam Body Mud! I suffer from blocked sinuses around once a month and it will take weeks before clearing momentarily at a random time, and I don’t want to take constant medicine. Any products that make my shower steam do even more wonders for my painful head are very attractive to me! I had £10 of points on my Debenhams beauty card so I did get this set for just £7. They had another set at a higher price, but I especially wanted the mud Lily picked out. I’ve loved her Vlogmas videos! It’s so relaxing to watch someone else’s life, like a mini soap opera with a lot more taste. 

I’ll let you know how these fair! I’m considering posting some of my work outfits but might cart all of my things to my mom’s house one weekend and photograph lots in one go. Maybe I’ll make it into a video!

My Skincare Routine

Last month my skin went damn crazy and the spots attacked! I don't generally have problem skin but it does take a while to heal blemishes, and while one was subsiding, another would appear! The problem with spots is they often appear in annoying places like near your lip or right where your blusher sits, and sometimes it feels they make the biggest statement, despite carefully applying makeup. Applying makeup over a healing spot is even worse!

So here are a few things I was using at the time - and what cleared up my skin!

Garnier Fresh Refining Toner - I was looking for a toner to replace my B. Micellar Water to be sure every trace of makeup was removed each night, or to use to take off all of my makeup when feeling lazy. I like everything fresh and zingy, but this toner did not suit my dehydrated skin as it is a hardcore solution for oily skin. I didn't think it would especially matter but this really made my skin feel stripped and tight with each harsh application on a cotton pad. True to my thrifty nature, I have almost used it up just on my lower T-zone, but finally the bottle can hit the recycling bin.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo(+) - As soon as I started despairing with my skin, I knew I had to repurchase this cult gem. I used the product a few years ago as a daily moisturiser when it first reaped blogger hype, but I knew this time to use it on targeted areas and feed the rest of my skin with kinder serums. Banishing spots and unclogging pores with a moisturiser is usually unheard of, and let's face it, a product that actually 100% does remove spots is ironically rare, despite so many brands out there. If I would have known about this when I was a teenager, life would have been so much better! As a fresh gel/cream formula, you gently spread a dollop of this over your problem areas and it sits lightly on the skin; feeling just heavy enough to know it is working but still offering a refreshed, cooling feeling, rather than being sticky or oily. A few hours later the area is hydrated yet not greasy, and your spots are well on their way to healing - and no more return. Repeat use is meant to now reduce any marks or scars, and keep the texture of skin refined. Add a night of undisrupted sleep and eight glasses of water (and both are basically free) and you're on your way to a good skin day, every day.

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre - In the past I have found it tricky to find a moisturiser that primes for a whole face of makeup straight after. In the mornings especially, I don't have spare moments to wait for anything to sink in. I have tried Indeed Labs hydraluron in the past as a way to boost any moisturiser that followed, but thought it was pretty pants. Sam recommended Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre in a Pixiwoo makeup video as the base for makeup, and it really does deliver at ensuring a perfectly softened face but a formula that doesn't tamper with any makeup then applied. Makeup wears off more slowly but holds a powder well without leaving a dusty or tight finish. Skin doesn't seem to change during the day and keeps a constant level of comfort that doesn't make me feel like I want to wash my face by lunch time. I got mine from eBay but I just spotted on the Boots website that the brand is now stocked there!

B. Revealed Glycolic Cleansing Peel - As the B. Micellar water was a past favourite, I was looking for a cleanser and stumbled across this glycolic peel in Superdrug. I was looking for a balm or oil to potentially shift makeup too, but this intrigued me as it was so cost effective, coming with a muslin cloth and a free gift with any purchase at the time! You can use this as a mask or a cleanser and as an AHA, glycolic acid (found in sugar cane!) is a natural way to shift the top layer of dead skin cells and thicken deeper layers of skin, hence why they are common in masks so they can really have the time to penetrate the layers. This cleanser is rather like a light paste that smooths on like clotted cream. The price and availability mean I will use this across the week, sometimes leaving it on for a little longer while I brush my teeth, and it keeps any congestion at bay. A gentle exfoliation with no scratchy beads and no redness is right up my street. I don't want to be putting anything brash on my skin and rubbing it all around, literally inviting wrinkles to form!

My regime is fine for day to day but nothing was very luxurious, powerful or particularly rich. As I glide (or stumble) into my late twenties, I want to be upping the ante with my skincare and to invest in some killer products. I've been dabbling with the Clinique eye gel too but want some more advice on the subject, and I really needed to add an oil or serum to the daily mix to feed this dehydrated face. That's where the Merumaya Iconic Youth Serum came in. I met their PR gal Lekha and a host of fantastic bloggers at the local Jekyll and Hyde bar, which I have definitely frequented for their creative cocktails. We had a fun, relaxed introduction to the brand across a few Breaking Bad-themed fluorescent blue drinks and Lekha confidently spoke the gospel of a brand that hand picks active, high performance ingredients to deliver the simple promise of youthful, flourishing skin in the most practical way. There isn't an extensive range of obscure varieties; there is a staple line with tried-and-tested, core ingredients that feel oh so good. The Melting Cleansing Balm has received a lot of blogging hype but I was chuffed to receive the Iconic Youth Serum in the goody bag, and ever since have supplemented my routine with the staple boasting the addition of peptides, minerals, plant cells and that good ol' hyaluronic acid. It's blended with a light essence to perk you up and it smooths in light a light gel. A delight! That's the way a blogging event should be done I feel, with the opportunity to really learn about the brand and relate to the product, rather than a showcase.