Beauty. Fashion. Lifestyle

Catch some extra zzz’s with these time-saving tips.

It's 7 a.m., and chances are you have snoozed every last alarm possible before you need to get up for work. With five minutes to spare, you envy the early risers who are up early enough to craft perfect tousled waves, apply a full face of makeup and still get out of the door on time. But if, like the rest of us, you can barely function before your first sip of coffee, your morning beauty routine – or lack thereof – is probably suffering. 

I totally get it. It can be tricky finding the balance between beauty and sleep. But what if streamlining your morning beauty routine could mean you can have both? So, whether you’re in need of organising your a.m beauty process, or simply looking for a way to deal with oversleeping, simplify your routine with these time-saving tips. You can thank me later!

Use Multi-Use Products

When it comes to applying your makeup in the morning, you may be shocked to hear that the average woman takes 29 minutes to create a natural makeup look. But if you would prefer to use that half an hour catching some extra beauty sleep, using multi-purpose products are quick and an effective. Oh, and they require very little effort!

For your base, use a cushion product like Lancôme’s Miracle Cushion All in One, £31.50 to cover, conceal and powder in one. Add a light flush and awaken the skin with a multi-tasking colour stick, such as NARS’ The Multiple in Orgasm, £29.00. Swipe across the eyes, lips, and cheeks for a foolproof look. Follow with a slick of mascara and in just five minutes you are good to go. 

Time Saved: 15 minutes

Braid Your Hair The Night Before

You can still go to work looking like you have made an effort with your hair. How? Create no-fuss waves by preparing the night before. 

Apply a leave-in conditioner such as Aussie’s Miracle Hair Insurance Leave-In Conditioner, £4.49 (I swear by this stuff) before bed and gently detangle your hair with a comb. Then, simply divide your hair into two sections, braid and sleep on it. When you wake up in the morning, loosen the braids and you will be left with effortless beachy waves. 

Time Saved: 20 minutes

Dry Shampoo

A lazy girl's best friend, skip washing your hair in the morning and instead, opt for a dry shampoo that will soak up excess oils and mask dirty hair. The aptly named Hair by Sam McKnight Lazy Girl Dry Shampoo, £19 will also add volume and lift to the roots. No one will ever know!

Time saved: 10 Minutes

A Bold Red Lip

If you are really pushed for time, applying a bold red lip will dress up any appearance and instantly look like you have made an effort. I love MAC’s Ruby Woo, £16.40 for its classic red hue and matte finish. You can even apply it whilst you run out the door! 

Time saved: 15 Minutes

Plan, Plan, Plan

If all else fails, preparation is key. The night before I recommend decluttering your vanity and laying out the products you plan to use in the morning. You will be surprised at how much quicker you can get through your morning routine. 

Time Saved: 5 minutes

Do you use any tricks to allow for a few more minutes in bed? Let me know!

Superdrug welcomes Elf Cosmetics back into the UK! The line is already available online and will launch in stores from June 1st.

Before the likes of Makeup Revolution and Makeup Academy, Elf Cosmetics was one of the first online beauty brands to offer a complete budget friendly line of makeup and tools. Ranging from just £3, ELF now offers more than 300 products that include bath products, skin-care products, mineral-based makeup that are 100% cruelty-free. 

In 2015, ELF announced that they would no longer be distributing to the UK market, but they are now back in full force, launching in 250 Superdrug stores across the country. Elf's chief executive officer, Tarang Amin says,“We’ve been there as an e-commerce business for a few years. This is our first major distribution in the U.K.”

Founded in 2004 by father and son duo, Joseph Shamah and Scott Vincent Borbaby, Eyes Lips Face also known as ELF, began in New York City. With just 13 products in the original line, Elf now stocks over 300 products in over 17 countries worldwide. 

Elf Cosmetics was one of the first brands I fully explored when I first got into beauty and makeup, so the relaunch definitely offers a sense of nostalgia! With such a large selection of products online to choose from, along with the affordable price tags, it was one of the first brands truly allowed me - and many other teens from around the country - the chance to play and experiment with makeup. 

To celebrate the announce of the launch, here are three ELF products I can't wait to revisit and get my hands on! 

This was one of the first products I tried from Elf, and I hit pan on two of them! Held in a sleek, black compact this convenient duo even has a mirror so it is perfect for on the go. The blush is a rosy pink with shimmer which will give you a healthy, flushed glow perfect for the summer months, and the bronzer is a great shade to add definition to your cheek bones! For just £5.00 you really can't go wrong. It is pretty pigmented though so you'll need to use a light hand when you use this!

Unless you have been living under a rock, you would have seen this highlighter doing the circuit on Insta, Pinterest and Youtube! It is supposed to give you a beautiful radiant glow and has great reviews so I am intrigued to try this! It claims to be long-lasting and can be applied wet for a vibrant effect or dry for sheer pigmentation. Again it is just £5.00! I wonder if this will give my all time favourite, the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Opal a run for its money?

I don't know about you but I am still enjoying wearing a matte lip. They are no fuss and can look really flattering. The Elf Matte Lip Colour in Tea Rose is a pigmented matte lip colour in that dusty pink we all have gone mad for. Another product that is perfect for when you are on the go, the jumbo pencil is one that you can simply twist up so no sharpener is needed! Enriched with enriched Vitamin A, C & E it will also hydrate and moisturise your lips. 

Are there any products you are looking forward to getting your hands on?

I only have a tiny collection of these beauties, but the small selection of these YSL Rouge Volupte Lipsticks I have that grace my vanity are too pretty not to share. I have five in total, all Rouge Volute’s apart from one which is a Rouge Volupte Shine. I can quite happily say they can not be beaten when it comes to being the most attractive and luxurious beauty product I own.

Exquisitely packaged the elegant Rouge Volupte line retails for £26.00 and offers a vast range of shades that are pigmented, have a silky, creamy texture and leave the lips with a glossy finish. I have a fairly rounded range of shades so far, however I am next on the look out for a simple nude. I have particularly have my eye on ‘Ulimate Beige. Here are the shades I currently own!

YSL Rouge Volupte in 7 Lingerie Pink Described as a ‘light creamy pink’ is a blue toned baby pink with that is opaque in pigmentation and feels creamy and moisturising on the lips. Due to the light creamy formula, wear time is around three hours and contains SPF 15. It has a satin finish and so leaves a sheen on the lips that wears comfortably. This is a great shade for everyday.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in 13 Pink in Paris This is my only Rouge Volupte Shine which gives me a good comparison from the original line. It is definitely leaves more of a glossy finish than a satin sheen but ultimately has that same creamy, moisturising texture with opaque ‘one swipe’ pigmentation. Pink in Paris (I’m in love with the name) is beautiful medium rose pink.

YSL Rouge Volupte in 13 Peach Passion Peach Passion is a vibrant pink with peachy undertones. In the swatch it is coming up slightly more orange however in person it is definitely more of a peachy pink. Now that the summer months have arrived this one looks lovely with dewy skin and a natural eye.

YSL Rouge Volupte in 32 Corail Jalouse A pinky red with a slight touch of coral. Again this is a beautiful colour for summer. If you want to start wearing corals but are slightly intimidated by the more orangey tones some corals have, Corail Jalouse is a great choice as it lies more on the pink side.

YSL Rouge Volupte in 17 Red Muse Red Muse is a brightened red with a slight pink undertone. This is a nice alternative to a classic red and the slight sheen makes it day time appropriate.

Lingerie Pink, Pink in Paris, Peach Passion,  Corail Jalouse, Red Muse

What do you think of the YSL Rouge Volupte Line?
The stuff is seriously magic

From regular mani’s to keeping my brows in tiptop shape, I love a good ol’ beauty routine. But I have to confess; when it comes to haircare - I am hopeless.

Years of excessive heat damage had resulted in the ends of my hair becoming dry, frizzy and badly damaged. Don’t get me wrong, I have tried everything. From argon oils and leave in conditioners to hair masks and miracle serums, yet nothing could quite tame the unruly frizz that - lets face it – when unstyled looked a little too reminiscent of a lion’s mane.

Not everyone could be blessed with silky, shiny hair like Rosie H-W, I reasoned.  But alas, my hair was in desperate need of some TLC, so I set myself a beauty mission – to bring my hair back to life.

It was a tall order, I know. But it had become lifeless, dehydrated and quite frankly, completely lack lustre. Nothing at all like the gorgeous chocolate toned tresses I drool over on Pinterest. It was time to get serious and do some research. Little did I know I was about to stumble across a treatment that would completely revolutionise my haircare routine.

After falling down a slight YouTube rabbit hole (okay, more like an hour and half of beauty tutorials, vlogs and somehow cute cats…), I discovered an at home intensive hair mask made up of a combination of Avanti’s Silicon Mix and Kanechom Conditioner, a little known hair-care brand from Brazil. The treatment promised to restore the health, shine and softness of dry and damaged hair. Count me in.

The story behind the mix actually surfaced online a couple of years ago, after a customer in a Dominican salon managed to catch a glimpse of the secret concoction her stylist had whipped up out of sight. She instantly took note and fortunately shared the treatment online. Hoorah!

Convinced this could be the secret to achieving Pinterest-worthy locks, I hopped onto Amazon to order the Silicon Mix Intensive Hair Deep Treatment, and the Kanechom Karite Shea Butter Moisturising Hair Cream. 

The Kanechom Karite Shea Butter is a deep moisturising cream enriched with nourishing Shea Butter and Hydrolysed Keratin, which will promote hydration and manageability. By adding a small measure of the Silicon mix to the treatment, it will also add a protective measure against damage and leave a sleek, frizz-free finish.

I mixed two parts of the Kanechom Conditioner to one part Silicon mix and applied from the ears down through the entire length of my hair. After leaving the treatment on for roughly 5-10 minutes, I rinsed with cool water (to close the hair cuticles and locks in moisture and shine) and let my hair air-dry before styling.

Can we just take a look at the results though! Pretty impressive, right?  

My hair felt like nothing I had felt before. Silky smooth. Sleek, and a glossy shine that could rival any iconic L’Oreal advert.  It actually looked and felt healthy for the first time in years.

Naturally, it instantly became a staple in my haircare routine, and eight months on I am still using the treatment to smooth out the cuticles, combat frizz, and maintain a glossy shine. To prevent buildup I use the treatment once every two weeks and use a clarifying shampoo in between washes. My hair has honestly never looked so healthy.

Beauty mission complete, I’d say!

As soon as I saw Jaclyn Hill created the ‘Ride or Die’ tag, I knew I had to participate! The tag basically consists of choosing one (yep just one!) ‘holy grail’ item within each makeup category. Think of it as though they were the only products you could take to a desert island. It’s actually pretty tricky right? Well I thought it would be fun to give it a go, so here are my ‘ride or die’ products – well for the moment any way!

Primer – Becca Backlight Priming Filter

One thing Becca does incredibly well is creating some of the best highlighters and illuminators in the game. I am in love with this primer, it is light weight, feels like it gives added moisture and leaves my skin with a beautiful healthy glow. Under foundation it gives you that added radiance, but i also have been loving it this past summer when I haven’t really felt like wearing foundation. To note, this isn’t a primer that will necessarily increase the longevity of your foundation – I’m still on the search for one I adore and feel truly works well – but will give you that sort after radiance boost.

Foundation – Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation

I was hesitant to try this foundation at first, as I wasn’t sure how it would fair with my dry skin but I was pleasantly surprised and have been enjoying! I feel like I haven’t found my holy grail foundation as of yet, but this is definitly one I reach most for out of my collection. It is a full coverage foundation that has a demi matte finish and I think it will be perfect for winter.

Concealer – Maybelline Age Rewind Eye Concealer in Light 

Concealer? Hands down the Maybelline Age Rewind Eye Concealer in light has been a staple in my makeup routine for a couple of years now. I use it as a dual product to conceal and highlight my face, and find it never creases has amazing coverage and the best of it all? It is so affordable at just £7.99, you really can’t go wrong!

Face Powder – MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Medium

Another product that I have been using for years to set my foundation is MAC’s Mineralize Skin Finish in Medium. It is the best one I have found that doesn’t feel cakey or uncomfortable on my dry skin, but sets my face nicely and leaves a flawless finish.

Under Eye Setting Powder – NYX HD Finishing Powder in Banana

For under eye setting powder it is definitely comes NYX and it is their HD Finishing Powder in Banana. This is a  yellow tinted powder that I use for the under eye area as it really helps brighten as well as eliminate any concealer creasing (which is the worst!).

Blush – Nars Blush in Orgasm

I wonder how many still choose Nars Orgasm! Its pretty much a cult classic and has been a favourite of mine for years. I have blushes that I love, but if I could choose one or need one to take away with me I always reach for Orgasm without hesitation. It is a rosey medium pink blush with gold reflects and gives you a healthy flush.

Bronzer – Benefit Hoola Bronzer

For bronzer it is easy for me. Hoola Bronzer is THE perfect contour shade as well as an all over bronze. It is matte, not muddy in the slightest and looks incredibly natural with a light touch. I haven’t found a bronzer that can beat this personally so it is definitely a ride or die product!

Highlight – MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle

There are so many highlighters I adore, so choosing one was tricky! I was thinking if I could only have one for the rest of my life, I would genuinely go back to basics and stick with MAC’s Soft & Gentle. It gives you an amazing glow, but also looks very natural and can really transform a demi matte foundation to give you a radiant overall look. I will continue to repurchase this as long as it is available!

Eyeliner – Illamasqua Precision Ink in Abyss

This is actually a new one for me and was introduced to me in the YOU Beauty Box! For years I was loyal to the Collection Fast Stroke Eyeliner – until I tried this beauty. Not only is it intensely black, and doesn’t budge all day, the tip is precise which means you can create a sharp flick with ease.

Mascara – YSL Effet Faux Cils 

Beaut packaging and an amazing product. This lengthens and voluminises my lashes with just a few strokes.

Lipstick – MAC Brave

My ride or die lipstick that is the perfect neutral pink shade for everyday is MAC’s satin lipstick in Brave. I honestly wear this most days as it looks amazing with pretty much any make up look. It it a satin formula which makes it wearable and the mauve/medium pink shade can be worn in all the seasons.

Liquid Lipstick – Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina

Stila Liquid Lipsticks are a dream formula, Pigmented, glide on smoothly and stay on ALL day, it was an easy choice to make. For the shade I love Patina. Like with ‘Brave’ – I can see a pattern forming here! – it is a medium pink, think the iconic Kylie Jenner Shade. Liquid Lipsticks are just so fantastic and fuss free that I’m not surprised they have been all the rage for some time now!

Gloss – Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in SO Real

I don’t tend to opt for gloss most days as I prefer a matte lip, but over the summer months when it is hot a gloss looks amazing when you want a fresh look. The Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in SO Real is not sticky in the slightest and leaves a subtle baby pink tint to the lips.

Lashes – Ardel Demi Whispies

I wear lashes everyday. They can transform a whole makeup look in seconds and it is super easy to do. Personally, my favourite lashes are the Ardel Demi Whispies. I find they are the perfect balance between a natural lash and something that is dramatic enough to make a difference.

Eyeshadow Palette – Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

I new it would have to be an Urban Decay palette as the pigmentation, buttery shadows and blendability is amazing. After deliberating which palette to choose from, I ended up choosing the Naked 3 Palette! The palette can be fairly versatile with the options to create a neutral eye to a sultry smoky eye, and as for the rosey/gold and pink shades, the whole palette is right up my street.

Setting Spray – L’Oreal Paris Infallible Fixing Mix

I have yet to try the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray (which I have seen is many people’s ride or die stetting spray, and so is currently on my wishlist) but I have been using the L’Oreal Paris Infallible Fixing Mix to set my face and I have to say I have been quite impressed! You have to give this a good shake to avoid the product building up, and getting white dots but if you shake it really well it is a great drugstore setting spray and I do find it helps lock in my makeup for the day and gives it a more natural look if any powders are looking a little cakey! For a drugstore setting spray – which actually, on reflection there really aren’t that many – is a great choice if you are on a budget.

Perfume – Paco Rabbane Lady Million

My boyfriend bought this for me for prom many years ago, and since then it is by far my favourite scent of all time. I would describe it as definitely an evening scent, with top notes of bitter orange and raspberry, heart notes of neroli, orange flower and arabian jasmine and base notes of honey and patchouli. I adore this and would definitely class this as one of those ride or die ‘holy grail’ fragrances.

What are some of your holy grail products?

Beautiful warm gold packaging and four highlighters that will give you some serious glow. The Sleek highlighting palette in Solstice is a must have straight from the high street.

From MAC to Becca, there are so many great highlighters out there, but when you find a great highlighter at high street prices, it certainly gets my attention! Ever since Jaclyn Hill – AKA the queen of highlight – spoke out about this palette in Solstice, I instantly knew I had to purchase this!

Strobing is such a prominent trend this season, a touch on the cheek bone, the cupids bow and the brow bone and you instantly have a radiant glow. The Sleek highlighting palette in Solstice gives you four options to choose from including two baked powders, one luxurious cream formula and one silky shimmer powder, all with metallic finishes.

The Packaging

The packaging is a warm gold metal palette with a clasp closure that feels both luxurious and secure. I find that some high street brands can have quite cheap feeling packaging, but in this case it certainly does not. It also has a large mirror inside, so it is just perfect for on the go.


The first thing I have to mention first is that the pigmentation of all these shades is amazing! No really, they are beautifully opaque and do not have big chunks of glitter in, so you are able to go for a natural glow to a blinding beam with this palette depending on your highlighting preferences! From left to right of the palette we have Ecliptic, which is a rosy cream highlighter, Hemisphere a lilac baked highlight (which is my favourite), Subsolar a milky cream and Equinox, a rose gold baked highlight.

Final Verdict

Overall this Sleek Solstice palette is a must have from the high street! Retailing at just £9.99, for four highlighters it is affordable, pigmented and long lasting. I definitely recommend it! I personally have been enjoying mixing Hemisphere and Equinox together and applying it to my check bones and cupids bow with a fan brush. It is also beautiful to apply just on the high points of your shoulders and along your collar bone for a radiant summer glow.

Through the winter months, we all know that our skin is in need of that extra TLC to keep it hydrated, soft and smooth. For limbs that are looking slightly...lack luster, thick, rich body moisturisers and hydrating lotions should never be underestimated as they are the perfect body care product to keep your drier skin at bay. So without further a do, here are my top body care staples to get you through the winter! 

Frank Body Body Cream

The Frank Body Body Cream is a thick creamy moisturiser that will be sure to hydrate your skin throughout the winter. The thick cream contains Frank Body's signature coffee seed extract that gets your blood pumping to tone and firm whilst the Vitamin E leaves the skin smooth and soft. It also contains pomegranate which is rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C, Green Tea to keep the skin hydrated and Shea & Cocoa butter which not only deeply hydrates but also forms a water-resistant barrier that locks in the skin's moisture.  

I absolute adore this for when I have had a long soak in the bath. It sinks in fairly quickly, does not feel greasy or tacky and leaves my skin feeling super soft. It also smells like frosting so I mean how can you go wrong!I would use this as a moisturiser in the evening as it is fairly thick and let the hydrating properties work over night.

The Body Shop White Musk Soft Satin Body Polish

I recieved this in a monthly beauty subscription box (apologies I am unable to recall which one) and decided to give it a whirl for the last few weeks. I have to say I have been really enjoying it because it is also ever so slightly exfoliating. It is whipped in texture so the formula is very light and feels velvety smooth to the skin. It has a subtle hint of  The Body Shop's classic White Musk scent but is not over powering. I have been going in with this if I feel my skin is getting drier, especially this last week since we have had snow!

Molten Brown Dewy Lily of the Valley & Star Anise Body Lotion

Molten Brown's Dewy Lily of the Valley & Star Anise Body Lotion is a lighter moisturiser perfect for a morning application. Blended with lily and star anise this body lotion smells amazing! It is very floral with notes of magnolia and ylang ylang which i really like. It isnt over powering but leaves a feminine scent to the skin ready for the day. It also does a great job of hydrating again without that greasy feeling.

The Body Shop Spa of The World Moroccan Rhassoul Body Clay

A slightly different product to thew usual body creams and lotions, this is mineral rich thick body masks which tackles the issue of dull skin in the winter months. It is supposed to tone the skin, which I feel probably needs many applications. Whilst I havn't seen durastic changes in terms of tone I do feel like it leaves the skin feeling rejuvinated and fresh.

What are some of your winter body care staples?

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