Tuesday, September 1

Clarins NEW Joli Rouge Lipsticks- 25 shades!

Clarins are a brand that always impress me, I love their collections as a whole and I think in terms of both skincare and make up, they get their products right every time.

Over the past year, their skincare has particularly impressed me and I can't get enough of a handful of their products, which I'll be sure to update you on shortly.

Now, finding the time to finally put on make up "properly" again, and braving more than a quick dash of lipstick, the new Clarins Joli Rouge came in just at the right time.

I've always been a lipstick kinda girl and Clarins Joli Rouge have always impressed me in terms of formula, colour and wear but taking a bit of a risk in my opinion- why mess with a product that's already excellent? Clarins worked on their already super moisturising lipsticks to make them even more moisturising and create a whole load of new shades, and thankfully, I can vouch- they're brilliant and it was well worth the risk.

With a whooping 25 new shades in the Joli Rouge family, there's a shade to express every mood, make up look and personality. 

Ranging from Reds to Nudes, Oranges to Plums and Berries to Pinks, the shades are as followed: 

701 Orange Fizz, 705 Soft Berry, 707 Petal Pink, 711 Papaya, 713 Hot Pink
715 Candy Rose, 723 Raspberry, 731 Rose Berry, 732 Grenadine, 737 Spicy Cinnamon
738 Royal Plum, 740 Bright Coral, 741 Red Orange, 742 Joli Rouge, 743 Cherry Red
744 Soft Plum, 745 Pink Praline, 746 Tender Nude, 747 Rosy Nude, 748 Delicious Pink
749 Bubble Gum Pink, 750 Lilac Pink, 751 Tea Rose, 752 Rosewood, 753 Pink Ginger
and breathe. 

Swatched above I'm wearing a trusty Pink- 735 Pink Praline and I just love it. Soft and easy to apply, it sits on the lips comfortably for a fair few hours and has the ability to be built up or worn as a light sheen of moisturising colour. With ingredients such as Mango Oil, these are certainly a must have for the colder months in particular and I'm so excited to have a real play around with more of the tones.

Priced at £19.50 each, which of the shades stand out to you?


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The Balm Schwing Liner

I'm really into eyeliner these days, so much so that it's become a part of my daily make up. Whether that has anything to do with the fact that my lining skills are a little better or not, I love it and can't steer too far away from a little line of the lid and feline flick.

With that in mind, I've taken it upon myself to try various liquid and gel liners on the market, and for a thicker more obvious line, this Schwing Black Liner from The Balm is really quite something. 

With its felt tip tapered applicator, this is really nice to apply and creates a smooth matte bold line with the Blackest of Black pigment which I love. It's quite wet, which for me personally, leaves little room for mistakes but if you've been lining for a while then I would say this is one for you.

I like to be honest and fair with products, and one thing that I'm not very impressed with, is its lack of waterproof skills. It doesn't dry as well as others I have tried and a couple of evenings when I've become tired and dry eyed, this has smudged across my face leaving me with a over-winged out/smudged like crazy eye like you wouldn't believe. In saying that, does it put me off? Absolutely not. I love its pigmentation, application and bold matte finish, so I'll just learn to cope with its smudging and will hold back any tears or rubs of the eye!

Priced at around the £12.00 mark, you can get your hands on Schwing from ASOS and Feel Unique.


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Tuesday, July 28

Too Faced Born This Way

I'm normally quite apprehensive when it comes to trying new foundations, but when I was presented with an array of the new Too Faced Born This Way Foundations, I was actually quite excited and couldn't wait to give them a try.

Oil-free, this foundation claims to diffuse the line between make up and skin, providing an undetectable medium to full coverage. It's said to conceal imperfections whilst leaving the the skin naturally radiant, and with ingredients such as Coconut Water, Alpine Rose and Hyaluronic Acid, your skin is cared for in terms of moisture, elasticity and appearance.

So, what do I think? 

I really do like this foundation and love that there's a twelve shades to choose from. The frostiness to the glass bottle makes choosing a shade without pumping and swatching difficult, but I went for Light Beige and I'm actually quite pleased that I did. 

On first impressions, I wasn't too keen on how the product applied to the skin. I always use a brush to apply my foundation but I found that it didn't blend as well as I'm used to and took a little bit of working in to really get going and banish the brush lines. Once applied, I really like how it sits and looks on the skin. It certainly isn't undetectable, but I don't mind that. The coverage is nice and buildable and I would go as far as saying it's my ideal coverage level. I personally don't have lots that I necessarily want/need to cover, but I like that look. 

For me personally, I wouldn't use a powder on top of this foundation at fear of it looking too cakey. It's definitely more matte finish than dewy and light, but equally, it leaves my skin looking really healthy which is pretty.

I'm not quite sure how far skincare ingredients can benefit your skin in a foundation, so I can't really comment on those, but I guess if they're included, that can only be a good thing?

I'm really enjoying using this foundation and so I'm really glad I stepped out of my foundation comfort zone. 

Too Faced Born This Way will cost £29.00 and will be available to buy in August, at Debenhams. 

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Clinique Eyes- Chubby Lash, Just Browsing & Pretty Easy Eyeliner

Clinique have recently been ticking all of my boxes where eyes are concerned and I've been really enjoying using three of their products combined.

Their Chubby Lash mascara, Just Browsing Brow Styler and their Pretty Easy Eyeliner Pen have been three of my top three make up pieces since receiving them and I've found myself reaching for them daily, or at least all of the days that I manage to wear make up.

I personally didn't think that the Chubby Lash Mascara would be something that I would like, as fattening my lashes isn't my main goal when it comes to mascara and I normally would go for something more lengthening, but I'm completely and utterly obsessed. 
The brush is in my opinion the perfect size and I find it gets to every lash beautifully, coating them all really well. It's a buildable consistency if you want to create lots of drama, but with results being pretty instantaneous, for the look I like to achieve, it's not necessary to build it up any further, and I wouldn't personally want to risk getting any clumps.
I was shocked to see quite how long my stumpy lashes looked on application and so I've found myself to be pleasantly pleased with the results.

I'm absolutely all about the brows and so when I saw Clinique's new Just Browsing Brush On Styling Mousse, I knew I just had to give one a whirl. 
Brows are everything for me when it comes to make up and I find that I've been using this to finish my already filled in brows to create that shape and "undone" look that I love. The tint, whilst really lovely, does just that- it tints and sadly doesn't fill in my brows, which is the look that I personally go for. 
For a quick make up ready to dash out of the house, I absolutely would use this to add a little something to my brows, but for now, I'm loving using it as more of a "setting and styling" mousse, for thicker and fuller looking brows.

For me, the Pretty Easy Liquid Eyeliner Pen is where it's at. This Eyeliner is amazing and I've found myself raving about it so many times now. It's the perfect size, pigmentation and Blackest Black finish and I personally cannot get enough. 
It's great for getting as close as you can to the lash line to create a fine and delicate line as opposed to anything too thick and over the top, plus it's fine pointed pen shape is the perfect tool for a fine feline flick and applying with such ease makes it a real winner in my opinion. 

Along with Clinique's new Skinny Sticks (£15.00) which I'm personally not 100% sold on yet, Just Browsing (£16.00) and the Pretty Easy Eyeliner Pen (£19.00) will be available to buy at the end of this month (31st July), whilst the Chubby Lash is already available in four shades costing £17.50.

What do you think of the look of these products? Do you think you'll be sold like me?

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The Balm Nude'Tude Eyeshadow Palette

A brand that I've really been loving recently is The Balm and of course, one of their stand out products for me was always going to be their Nude Eyeshadow Palette- surprise!

Made up of twelve shades, Nude'Tude is home to both shimmery and matte tones and I must say, I'm a huge fan of them all minus maybe one or two at a big push.

Sassy, Stubborn, Selfish, Sophisticated, Sexy, Serious, Snobby, Stand-offish, Sultry, Seductive, Silly and Sleek are the twelve S's and each of them provide really great pigmentation and colour payoff. I'm not so keen on Sassy and Stubborn, purely down to the fact that they're shades I hardly ever reach for due to the fact of them not doing much for me, but besides that, they're still great quality.

A shade that I'm particularly fond of, is Sexy and I just know that come Winter time, that will be a shadow that will be rocked a lot.  

Sultry and Seductive are the two tones that I'm wearing in the in look above, they're both perfectly wearable tones for daytime but can also be jazzed up for something more special of an evening.

The Balm Nude'tude Eyeshadow Palette costs £30.00 as is available to buy at Feel Unique.


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Monday, July 20


It's been a while since I last sat down and gave my blog any attention, but I'm pleased to announce, that I'm back.

Being a mum is certainly more demanding than I ever imagined it would be, and in turn, over the first year of parenthood, it left me with minimal time to myself and even less time to even consider blogging.

My blog is my thing and it's what I've loved doing for the past five or so years and so to go from posting daily to barely posting at all has been a genuine struggle and brought me heartache. That might sound extremely dramatic to some as I've equally been in the happiest place in my life, but honestly, not posting as frequently as I had hoped effected me more than I ever thought it would.

Before becoming a mum, I was under no illusion that being a parent would be hard, but I never considered that my blog would have to take a back seat in my life. I am a blogger, and I wanted to blog. To see something that I had put so much effort into building up over the years almost disintegrate in front of my own eyes, well, lets just say it hurt. It took me to a really low place at times as I felt I'd lost a part of me, but now, a year in, I'm finding a little more balance and I'm determined to get Belles Boutique back on track.

Some of you may question why I took to giving YouTube my online attention if blogging was my original passion, and the truth is that because throughout those weeks of Harrison's first year, it was the outlet that I needed. Being a mum is hard, but YouTube allowed me to share my journey and document the most precious moments in my life to a community that I felt "got it". Uploading my real life was and is for pleasure and I get great satisfaction putting together videos of my weeks with Harrison and engaging with an audience, but posting about make up, when I barely had time to shower, wasn't real life for me and it would have felt fake. 

Fortunately, I have now found the perfect balance, well at least I think I have, and I intend on spending at least two days a week whilst Harrison's in nursery focusing on my blog. 

I'm most likely going to mix things up a little bit, although Belles Boutique is and will continue to be predominately beauty based. 

If you've stuck around, thank you so much. I genuinely appreciate all of your support and I'm so pleased to be back.

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Tuesday, June 16

Clarins 'Mum and Me Time' at Ragdale Hall Spa

Life got a little crazy recently and some me time became very necessary and what better way to spend it than with my mum, in the countryside at a spa.

A three-hour-something road trip up the M1 took my mum and I to Ragdale Hall Spa in Leicestershire, and boy did we have a great weekend.

Two days of pure luxury soaking up the fresh country air in our fluffy White gowns meant we had time to relax away from daily stresses and just be. It's often only when you take a moment to breathe in an environment of silence and calm, that you realise just how much you needed that moment to breathe, chill and unwind.

Ragdale Hall is a traditional Victorian building and homes both traditional and modern luxury with state of the art equipment and facilities, current brands and fabulous treatments. 

The Thermal Spa which is made up of both an indoor and outdoor heated waterfall pool, a candle pool, a thought zone, a colour flow cave, a volcanic salt bath, a scented room, a rose sauna and a cave experience shower was a favourite of ours and so I'm sure it will come as no surprise when I tell you that we spent the majority of our time in there, switching between facilities.

In between pruning our fingers and toes, we were very kindly treated to a Mum and Me Time Clarins Serenity Facial which was an absolute dream. 40 minutes of treatment which included an in depth skincare consultation and a Clarins gift of an Eau Dynamisante Fragrance, Moisturising Body Lotion and a Clarins Beauty Bag, meant that we had the opportunity to relax even further- so much so that I actually fell asleep mid facial. It was such a nice treat and it was so lovely to be pampered alongside my mum, who following the treatment was floating on cloud nine. 
With the added bonus of the clean air and spa facilities, my skin had never looked and felt so clear and I can't wait to continue to use the Clarins products that were recommended for me to use day to day.

Breakfast in bed, an incredible three course buffet lunch and dinner were equally beautiful and going to enjoy them were the only times that we were away from the tranquil settings of the spa. Dressed in our gowns and slippers for mealtime was an extra special treat for us and made the days even more relaxing and I now just wish it was socially acceptable to dine out like that everywhere. I'm a girls girl and love getting dressed up for fancy meals, but in that environment with the calming nature of the trip, dressing gowns were the only way and it was absolutely completely heavenly. 

Set in the middle of nowhere, with bunnies hopping into the distant fields, Ragdale Hall is the perfect spa getaway for all ages, shapes and sizes and I for sure can't wait to return. 

Whether it's gym classes, swimming, treatments, garden games or spa facilities you're into, there's something for everyone, although having experienced the most gorgeous quality time with my mum, I can't recommend taking your mum along for the Clarins Mum and Me Time Package enough.

I'd love to know if you've been to Ragdale Hall or whether you're interested in visiting. What's your favourite spa treatment?

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Friday, June 5

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads

First Aid Beauty's Facial Radiance Pads- where do I start? These are just what I've been on the search for and they have become a very welcomed part of my skincare regime.

I've been a fan of acid exfoliator pads for some time now, but the ones that I've used in the past have all come with pretty hefty price tags. Now on a bit more of a budget, I've been looking for a more purse friendly alternative.

 Having researched these a little bit before purchasing, I kind of knew I was onto a winner but nothing quite prepared me for just how good these would be on my skin.

Designed to exfoliate, tone and brighten, these pads contain lactic and glycolic acids which always work absolute wonders for my skin. Alongside Cucumber, Lemon Peel and Licorice Root, this potion of goodness soaked up into pads leaves your skin glowing and smooth and both looking and feeling incredibly clear with my pores noticeably reduced, which is something I personally look for in products.

I would say that these are a lot more on the gentle side than similar pads that I've used, which may be why the price tag isn't as extreme, but they do just as excellent a job and I'm so thrilled with the results.

I sweep these over my face after I cleanse in the evening and I really couldn't recommend them enough.

Available to buy on Feel Unique, First Aid Beauty's Facial Radiance Pads are available a pot of 20 (£12.00) and a pot of 60 (£22.00).


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