I’ve heard glowing reviews of the NARS blusher in Orgasm shade since I first broke into beauty blogging, back in January 2010. I knew Millie Mackintosh was a massive fan, and quite frankly, she’s one of my main beauty inspirations. If it’s good enough for Millie to use daily, it’s got to be amazing.

I also heard a few years later that it topped the beauty charts for one of the most iconic makeup items ever, so it goes without saying it’s a cult best-seller for NARS.


So why did I find myself going into 2017, still being a NARS Orgasm virgin? I suppose I’ve always been quite content with the products I currently use, and as a Beauty Editor, I try new ones out daily. I guess the arrival of a NARS blusher just never came…

Anyway, I finally purchased it 3 days into 2017, and it’s been on the apples of my cheeks ever since. In a nutshell, here’s all the reasons why I love it:

  • It delivers a natural, healthy-looking color that immediately enlivens my complexion. It’s not too sickly pink, but it’s still a strong, distinct rosy shade.
  • A light application of even the highest-intensity hues delivers a natural-looking flush, giving me a healthy glow at the same time. I usually contour first, then lightly sweep a pop of orgasm over the apples.
  • It has a super silky texture, applies matte, but has touches of shimmering rose gold. Truly beautiful.
  • It’s packed with micronized powders to ensure a soft, blendable application.


If you want that natural, build-able blusher which sits somewhere in the middle of peach/pink/rose gold, then this is the one. Now I finally see what all the fuss is about. Plus, you can tell that this little mirrored palette is going to last a lifetime too because a little goes a long long way…

I bought this from LookFantastic for £23, and I know I’ll be purchasing this again as my staple daytime blush.




Move over moisturiser – face oils have officially shifted from a skincare trend to a beauty staple. And literally in a matter of one sweet year. I remember when they first came on the scene, and everyone looked a little dubious. I mean oil? Put oil on my face? Why on Earth would we want to do that, when we try and keep oil at bay?

In actual fact, face oils hydrate the skin without a greasy finish, and nourish and moisturise with a (usually huge) list of antioxidants and natural emollients. Plus, now that they have gone mainstream, there’s a huge variety of options at different price points and scents. There’s a different facial oil for every type of skin type and concern, and believe me – they are taking over the world!


All natural and botanical 

The nice thing about utilising a facial oil in your skincare regime is that the majority of them are natural, loaded with botanicals and act as your plant-based skincare product. As a Beauty Editor, I come across a lot of facial oils, but one of them I like to share is from CRUDE. CRUDE has oil-cleansing at it’s core, with botanical ingredients that work with your body’s own regenerative processes to heal, nourish and support healthy, vibrant skin.

The brand discovered that chronic use of soaps and exfoliants actually fight and disrupt our skin’s healing processes and natural microbiome. They strip and aggravate the skin, and break down our natural moisture barrier. And as our skin is naturally capable of healing itself, it just needs a little help, not something fighting against it. CRUDE ingredients (like oil and clay) gently cleanse and deposit beneficial minerals and antioxidants that support your skin’s natural defenses. So you know you’re benefiting your skin hugely with each use…



If you want to start getting into the habit of using facial oils and improving your skincare regime, a starter kit is a good way to go about it. This one from CRUDE features 1 oz. Everything Oil, 1 oz. Detox Masks and 3 Pull Cloths so you are fully equipped. The Everything Oil is just fantastic – it’s a one product, all skin types/concerns suited.

It acts as a half cleanser and half moisturiser to provide dewy, radiant, dreamy looking skin. But you might be wondering why the starter kit comes with pull cloths, as mentioned above. This is where I come to the next bit, sharing how to properly use face oils, day and/or night, and introducing a muslin style cloth for the best cleanse/moisturise of your life!…


How to use Face Oils

Firstly, everything you need for oil cleansing can be found right here aside the Oil Cleansing Start Kit. The 3 products are the key three to get you started with this skin-loving step. But just to highlight some bullet points, the method is like this:

  • Step 1: Cleanse – Massaging a quarter-sized amount of oil in to damp or dry skin for at least one minute. This will allow it to penetrate and draw impurities from deep within the skin.
  • Step 2: Remove – After your oil is applying, the next professional step it to ‘pull’, and you can do this with a pull cloth and warm (not hot) water. Hold the warm water cloth over your face for three deep breaths to open the pores. Then slowly begin to remove the oil using small circular motions around the face with the cloth. Remember that water alone may not remove all the oil, bacteria and dirt from your skin, but using a muslin style cloth will cleanse deep.
  • Step 3: Moisturise – Using your facial oil – which will usually be packed with Vitamins E, A, C, and D – massage a few drops in to the skin after cleansing. This will leave you with perfectly dewy, glowing skin. And of course, make sure your oil is non-comedogenic, therefore won’t feel greasy or heavy.

If you follow the following oil cleansing guide, you can get a more in-depth tutorial about each step.



I’ve been using facial oils for around 2 months now, which isn’t that long to say they’ve been huge for over a year. I started off with these Circ-cell face oil samples which landed on my desk at my beauty editor day job, and I first just started using them either before my moisturiser, or in place of my moisturiser. And that’s the main beauty of them, if you use them as that vital treatment step after toning but before moisturising, it can work as a treatment for anything you desire – pigmentation, acne, dry skin etc.

But if you are in a rush and don’t want to go through every step of your intense regime, just smother your face with the oil after cleansing.


Just look how glowy they are – what a discovery and what an invention. I’m a fully converted facial oil fan now, and can’t wait to explore more ranges.


As a Beauty Editor by day and a Beauty Blogger by night, I hear a lot of talk about Anastasia Beverly Hills. But more so around their cult eyebrow product – DipBrow Pomade. So what exactly is the Anastasia DipBrow Pomade? And why is it meant to be so good?

Encased in a cute 4g glass pot, this cream brow product has been created to give you total control of your brows. It gives your brows natural structure, texture, definition, colour and shape, but the part I love the most is that the shades are so soft, they enable you to build your shape without your brows looking false and OTT!


On brush application, the texture appears a little satin like, with a slight sheen. However, once brushed through your brow hairs, it instantly transforms to a matte, natural finish. This is perfect, because I’m way over any shine or gloss creeping into my brows!

I’ve been using the taupe shade, which was actually a gift bought for me. I’d say I’m possibly 1 shade darker than the taupe (soft-medium brown), but the beauty of the pomade is that I just simply layer it up and blend up until I feel the colour is a perfect match. So I’m actually really enjoying using the taupe and practicing my blending techniques!

It’s possibly the colour choice available with this product which makes dipbrow so great. Rather than your flat standard taupe, brown, black shades, the colour choice on offer represents the actual tones present in real hair. So you know, browns with warm undertones, browns with hints of red pigment, ashy blondes… something for everyone.

I wondered at first if a cream/wax type product to apply to my brows would smudge a little when I get hot, but another heroic aspect of this product is that it is actually waterproof and smudge proof. So yes ladies! You can go swimming and sunbathe with this applied to your brows. It literally lasts all day. I find a good oil based eye make-up remover is literally the best thing to use to completely remove all traces at the end of the day.

Here’s my brows before using the product:


I confess I watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to apply this before I set to work on myself, as I’m usually an avid pencil users. But it’s really really simple. Just dip a fine angle brush or a tiny liner brush into the pot and mimic a flicking action to create the illusion of fine hair texture. Apply again for a darker, more filled-in look.

The pot costs around £15, and can be found at various online beauty retailers.

And to finalise this post, here’s my brows post using the DipBrow. Ta da!




 

Gatineau

Today is officially ‘Blue Monday’, but over on What Emma Did, I want to twist this day on its head and have a good vibes day!

I thought I’d throw in a little Blue Monday beauty competition, which gives you – my blog readers – the change to win a premium set of beauty products, all sworn by from the beauty professionals out there.

Firstly lets look at the pure Swiss Belle Azul Hyaluronic Acid Serum, the must-have beauty serum which keeps your face fresh, firm and toned. Hyaluronic Acid is one of the most effective ingredients you can have in your skincare, due to it’s youth enhancing and anti-aging properties. It’s also brilliant for exfoliating dead skin cells, revealing bright, radiant new skin. This cult product retails at £30 and is now included in my giveaway!

Alongside this swear-by product, I’m adding in a selection of skincare treats by luxury salon brand Gatineau. Here we have the

  • Anti-Wrinkle Radiance Mask
  • Refreshing Cream Cleanser
  • a Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
  • a Youth Activating Beauty Cream
  • Eye Cream

The total set is worth £70, and all you have to do is follow @whatemmadid_ on Instagram to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

how to get stronger longer hair
I’ve been trying to strengthen and thicken up my hair for a good while now. Sometimes I feel I’m making progress, and other times I feel it’s not come along too much. Along my hair journey, there’s been a few heroes along the way which I’ve really noticed have helped.

One of them has been the Grow Gorgeous Hair Density Serum, a product I apply to my scalp each night, massage in, and let it work its magic whilst I sleep. Because I have fine hair, it sometimes makes my roots look a little greasy. But for my friends who have tried this with much thicker hair than I, they don’t experience this. The serum itself aims to grow an extra 13,000 hairs after 4 months, which is quite hard to monitor, but I ‘ve noticed a visible improvement over a period of 5 months.

So what else has helped me? A good diet is always one, which I’m guilty of not sticking to. Avocados, nuts and protein rich foods work overtime to strengthen the hairs. Reducing heat appliances, which I’m very good at sticking to (despite using a hairdryer, I rarely ever use straighteners or curling tongs) has helped prevent weak ends. And overall, professional products. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the more quality your hair care, the more love you are giving your hair, because it’s all about ingredients.



I’ve just received this lovely little bundle from Andrew Collinge – a selection of products from the CO range. The fully rounded pro line consists of 9 premium, unisex, results driven products and is exclusive to purchase from the Andrew Collinge website.

One of the most eye-catching products for me when I explored each one was the Hair Moisturiser. Isn’t that we all want for our hair? Just a good old, professional results Hair Moisturiser to apply to damp hair. This spray delivers heat protection, moisture and shine, loaded with Argan Oils to hydrate, smooth and detangle. It has a fresh scent, and spritzes onto damp hair before blow drying to detangle brittle hair, leave hair soft and shiny, and protect again the heat. For £8, it’s going to be my new favourite.


Other products in the line include a Finishing Gel Serum Definer, Argan Oil for smoother, shinier tamed hair, a Firm Hold Hairspray (which I’ve just been using this weekend!), a shaping Clay and Blow Dry Lotion to name a few.

One of the products I spied online which sounds more than ideal for me is the Invisible Dry Shampoo. One of the methods I’m following to try and improve the condition of my hair and health of my scalp is to wash my hair every 3 days, although I sometimes fail miserably with this one. By day two, my roots are already looking flat and greasy, so dry shampoo is my saviour.

This version by Andrew Collinge leaves no visible residue on the hair, meaning no light powders or that ‘grey’ look. It aims to absorb all natural oils and is loaded with translucent texturisers to create fullness and for styling long hair. So for me, it sounds like the next dry shampoo I’m due to try. And lets face it, I’ve tried a fair few!

Looking forward to trying the full collection!